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New Acquisition

Posted On July 15, 2015 | 11:40 am | by meredithb | Permalink
Daniel Barbaro, La pratica della perspettiva

Dumbarton Oaks has acquired a first edition, rare second issue of Daniel Barbaro’s La pratica della perspettiva. This important cinquecento architectural treatise with a spectacular woodcut title page offers a virtual summary of contemporary architectural theory. In this practical manual, envisioned as a complement to the Vitruvius commentary he wrote with Andrea Palladio, Barbaro offers lessons in projective geometry and the practical applications of perspective. He discusses abstract geometric topics such as polyhedra, anamorphosis, and the camera obscura, as well as their application to architectural ornament, the orders, scenic modes, and human proportion.

The work comes in two issues, identical except for the date of imprint (1568 for the first, 1569 for the second). Some copies of either issue also contain a variant title page. The present copy, for example, is a second issue with the variant woodcut title page, a dramatic geometrical representation of an interlaced ring surrounded by satyrs and cherubs with drawing instruments.