Perspective is the art and mathematics of realistically depicting three-dimensional objects in a two-dimensional plane, sometimes called centric or natural perspective to distinguish it from bicentric perspective. The study of the projection of objects in a plane is called projective geometry. The principles of perspective drawing were elucidated by the Florentine architect F. Brunelleschi (1377-1446). These rules are summarized by Dixon (1991):

1. The horizon appears as a line.

2. Straight lines in space appear as straight lines in the image.

3. Sets of parallel lines meet at a vanishing point.

4. Lines parallel to the picture plane appear parallel and therefore have no vanishing point.

There is a graphical method for selecting vanishing points so that a cube or box appears to have the correct dimensions (Dixon 1991).

See also

Bicentric Perspective, Fisheye Perspective, Leonardo's Paradox, Map Projection, Möbius Net, Perspector, Perspective Collineation, Perspective Triangles, Perspectivity, Perspectrix, Projection, Projective Geometry, Vanishing Point, Vertical Perspective Projection, Zeeman's Paradox

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de Vries, V. Perspective. New York: Dover, 1968.Dixon, R. "Perspective Drawings." Ch. 3 in Mathographics. New York: Dover, pp. 79-88, 1991.Lambert, J. H. Freie Perspective, 2nd ed. Zürich, 1774.Parramon, J. M. Perspective--How to Draw. Barcelona, Spain: Parramon Editions, 1984.Steinhaus, H. Mathematical Snapshots, 3rd ed. New York: Dover, pp. 157-159, 1999.

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Cite this as:

Weisstein, Eric W. "Perspective." From MathWorld--A Wolfram Web Resource.

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