zum Inhalt springen

Sven Dupré (Utrecht University / University of Amsterdam)






The Materiality of Renaissance Perspective 

The background to this lecture is my conviction that we should consider the polysemy of perspective associated with the practice of perspective. The ways in which Panofsky's "Perspective as Symbolic Form" continues to shape the historiography of perspective up until the present day blackboxes the various uses and meanings of Renaisssance perspective across different sites of appropriation of optical knowledge. Against this background, in this lecture I will show how writing and reading practices in the Renaissance, that is, the materiality of texts on optics and perspective, contributed to artists' establishment as experts based on their knowledge of the secrets of vision. Most artist-readers, like other artisanal or vernacular readers, engaged with texts in a piecemeal fashion. Also, they were more likely to encounter optics cut and past as parts of recipe collections or books of secrets, which flooded the print market in the sixteenth century. Recipes and secrets were transforming vehicles for the transmission of optics. In this process of transformation, optical knowledge was decontextualized and theories of light and vision disappeared in the background. The emphasis of the secrets was on the manipulation of objects and instruments (glass spheres and mirrors in camera obscura settings) to create particular optical effects. In contrast to Panofsky, and acknowledging the polysemy of perspective, the materiality of the texts on perspective constructed a particular definition of perspective similar to Dürer's "Messung".



Biographische Angaben

Sven Dupré ist Chair des Departments für History of Art, Science and Technology an der Universität Utrecht und seit März 2016 ebenfalls Professor für History of Art, Science and Technology an der Universität Amsterdam. Zudem leitet er das seit 2015 vom European Research Council finanzierte Projekt "Technique in the Arts: Concepts, Practices, Expertise, 1500-1950". Davor war er Professor der History of Knowledge am Kunsthistorischen Institut der FU Berlin und Leiter der Forschergruppe "Art and Knowledge in Premodern Europe" am MPI für Wissenschaftsgeschichte in Berlin. In seinen Forschungen, die am Schnittpunkt von Kunst-, Wissenschafts- und Technikgeschichte angesiedelt sind, setzt sich Sven Dupré mit der Konstitution von technisch-handwerklichem Wissen und künstlerischen Praktiken unter anderem im Feld der optischen Medien auseinander.


Im Wintersemester 2016/17 finden die Cologne Media Lectures unter der Federführung von Prof. Dr. Herta Wolf, Kunsthistorisches Institut (Allgemeine Kunstgeschichte - Schwerpunkt Geschichte und Theorie der Fotografie) statt.