Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(3,465 words)

1. Concept and theory

1.1. Prerequisites and “invention”

The term “perspective” (Latin perspectiva, from perspicere, “to see clearly”) is first found in a commentary on Aristotle by Boëthius (c. 500). It is used there to translate the Greek optikḗ téchne (“art of seeing”). The expression remained current in this sense into the early modern period. A shift of meaning came in the early 15th century, with the …

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Büttner, Frank, “Perspective”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 25 September 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_025435>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20200721

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