I’m working on more engraving collage at the moment so I’ve been delving into the scanned books at the Internet Archive once more in search of raw material. I still tend to use things scanned from paper volumes but the Internet Archive is useful for small details, and searches there also have the advantage of turning up things you might not otherwise see. This is one such book, an English guide to perspective for painters and architects adapted from the two-volume Perspectiva pictorum et architectorum by Andrea Pozzo (1642–1709). The title page declares the instruction to be “wholly free from the confusion of occult lines” which it certainly is, the plates would still serve as guides to the trickier aspects of perspective today. The engravings in this edition are by John Sturt.
Pozzo was a master of trompe l’oeil painting, and when you see ceilings such as this it’s no surprise that he might have a thing or two to say about perspective. The plates begin with simple shapes then graduate to the construction of the columns and capitals used in Classical architecture; at the end you have some intimidatingly complex pediments and porticoes. The University of Heidelberg has copies of Pozzo’s original books, including the second volume where things become even more elaborate.