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Spatial vision anomalies in Renaissance art: Raphael, Giorgione, Dürer

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image of Spatial Vision
For more content, see Multisensory Research and Seeing and Perceiving.

Two-dimensional views of three-dimensional space are based on conventions. Renaissance perspectival drawing invented by Brunelleschi is one of them. It caused difficulties to fifteenth and sixteenth century and later artists, although readily taken up by those understanding mathematics. Raphael was amongst those who did not seem to have understood some of its elements: this is illustrated in the first section. The second addresses the question of whether a squint may manifest in an artist's work. Giorgione's ocular anomaly was well documented by several of his self-portraits, and reference is made to some of his paintings with a special analysis of The Tempest. The final section deals with chromatic stereoscopy, with particular reference to the work of Dürer. His apparently anomalous spatial sense is tentatively explained with the suggestion that he may have suffered from a defect of colour vision (protanomaly).

Affiliations: 1: University College London Hospital Eye Department, 235 Euston Rd., London NW1 2BU, UK; Institute of Gerontology, King's College London, 46 Aldwych, London WC2B 4LL, UK


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