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Perspective is the art and mathematics of realistically depicting 3-D objects in a 2-D plane. 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 Leonardo's Paradox, Perspective Axis, Perspective Center, Perspective Collineation, Perspective Triangles, Perspectivity, Projective Geometry, Vanishing Point, Zeeman's Paradox


de Vries, V. Perspective. New York: Dover, 1968.

Dixon, R. ``Perspective Drawings.'' Ch. 3 in Mathographics. New York: Dover, pp. 79-88, 1991.

Parramon, J. M. Perspective--How to Draw. Barcelona, Spain: Parramon Editions, 1984.

© 1996-9 Eric W. Weisstein