De Prospectiva Pingendi

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Perspective of anatomy from De Prospectiva Pingendi.
Perspective of depth from De Prospectiva Pingendi.

De Prospectiva Pingendi (On the Perspective for Painting) is a Renaissance mathematical book about perspective in painting,[1] written by the Italian master Piero della Francesca. The scripture was written around 1480 [2] by Piero della Francesca, but was released in bookform first in 1899. Today the original copy is in the archives of the Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milan.

The book[edit]

The subjects covered by Piero della Francesca in these writings include arithmetic, algebra, geometry and innovative work in both solid geometry and perspective.[3][4]

The script consists of three parts:

  • Part One Disegno, describing techniques for painting faces
  • Part Two Commensurazio, describing perspectives
  • Part Three Coloro, describing techniques for creating perspectives by using colours


De Prospectiva Pingendi was probably created in the years between 1474 until 1482.[1][2][4]

The writings were inspired by the book De pictura by Leon Battista Alberti [2] written in 1435 [1] but probably also by works by Euclid.[4] The manuscript later came into the possession of the Biblioteca Palatina in Parma [4] before it was transferred to the Biblioteca Ambrosiana.

Much of Piero’s work was later absorbed into the writing of others, notably Luca Pacioli. Piero’s work on solid geometry appears in Pacioli’s "De divina proportione", a work illustrated by Leonardo da Vinci.

In 1899 the writings were first published in bookform.[5]


  1. ^ a b c [1], Dartmouth College
  2. ^ a b c [2], Encyclopædia Britannica
  3. ^ [3], Codices Illustres
  4. ^ a b c d [4], Computer Animation Lab
  5. ^ [5], Google

External links[edit]