Leonardo's Perspective
The most praiseworthy form of painting is the one that most resembles what it imitates. ~Leonardo

Study of the Star of BethlehemMadonna with the Carnation

During the Renaissance, European artists began to study the model of nature more closely and to paint with the goal of greater realism. They learned to create lifelike people and animals, and they became skilled at creating the illusion of depth and distance on flat walls and canvases by using the techniques of linear perspective.

Jean Fouquet

Background: Painting in the Middle Ages.

Leonardo da Vinci trained as a painter during the Renaissance and became a true master of the craft. His amazing powers of observation and skill as an illustrator enabled him to notice and recreate the effects he saw in nature, and added a special liveliness to his portraits. Curious as well as observant, he constantly tried to explain what he saw, and described many experiments to test his ideas. Because he wrote down and sketched so many of his observations in his notebooks, we know that he was among the very first to take a scientific approach towards understanding how our world works and how we see it.

Get the Macromedia Shockwave Director Plugin Looking Through Leonardo's Eyes
Leonardo's Window
Classroom Activity: Using Leonardo's Window
Exploring Linear Perspective
Playing Around with Size and Distance
Classroom Activity: How Far? How Small?
Investigating Aerial Perspective
Causes of Aerial Perspective

Inventor's Workshop Exploring Leonardo Homepage Leonardo's Perspective
Leonardo: Right to Left What? Where? When? Additional Resources

Science Learning Network / email: sln@mos.org / © 1997 The Museum of Science

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