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Perspective - Renaissance-style Linear Perspective, Other "perspectives", Bibliography

picture illusion visual dimensional

In the visual arts, the English word perspective refers to the optical illusion whereby a picture on a flat, two-dimensional plane appears to be three-dimensional; as if the represented objects were actually in a deep space receding behind the picture surface (like looking at them through a window or in a mirror), and in some cases seeming even to project forward in front of the picture. The term itself derives from the Latin participle perspectus of the verb perspicere, meaning "to see through." While artists in nearly every world culture since the beginning of the human race have sought to create some kind of illusion of visual reality in their image-making, none were so preoccupied with perspective mathematics as the painters of the Italian (and then pan-European) Renaissance.

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