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Mathematical Treasure: Guidobaldo del Monte's Perspectiva

Frank J. Swetz (Pennsylvania State University)

Guidobaldo del Monte (1545-1607) was an Italian mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher. He studied mathematics under Federico Commandino and was a teacher and lifelong friend of Galileo Galilei. Del Monte helped develop the proportional compass. His most influential work was his Perspectiva (1600), a book that became a classic reference for artists and architects.

The first page of text:

The Perspectiva contains an extensive collection of geometric situations and demonstrations involving projections. Here is a sampling of these demonstrations:

The images above are presented courtesy of the History of Science Collections, University of Oklahoma Libraries.

Index to Mathematical Treasures

Frank J. Swetz (Pennsylvania State University), "Mathematical Treasure: Guidobaldo del Monte's Perspectiva," Convergence (May 2019)