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From Alberti’s Finestra Aperta to Hitchcock’s Rear Window. Avatars of the Scopic Drive in Painting and Film

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Contribution to book (peer-reviewed)
Publication date 2015
Author V. I. Stoichita,
Project Le portrait féminin en voile. Une histoire picturale du voile à la Renaissance en Italie
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Contribution to book (peer-reviewed)

Book Vision and Its Instruments
Editor , Alina Payne
Publisher Penn State University Press, University Park State College PA 16801
Page(s) 259 - 279
ISBN 978-0-271-06389-8
Title of proceedings Vision and Its Instruments

Open Access


Starting with Brunelleschi s invention of perspective and Galileo s invention of the telescope two inaugural moments in the history of vision, from two apparently distinct provinces, art and science this volume of essays by noted art, architecture, science, philosophy, and literary historians teases out the multiple strands of the discourse about sight in the early modern period. Looking at Leonardo and Gallaccini, at botanists, mathematicians, and artists from Dante to Durer to Shakespeare, and at photography and film as pointed modern commentaries on early modern seeing, Vision and Its Instruments revisits the complexity of the early modern economy of the image, of the eye, and of its instruments. The book explores the full range of early modern conceptions of vision, in which mal occhio (the evil eye), witchcraft, spiritual visions, and phantasms, as well as the artist s brush and the architect s compass, were seen as providing knowledge equal to or better than newly developed scientific instruments and practices (and occasionally working in conjunction with them). The essays in this volume also bring a new dimension to the current discourse about image production and its cultural functions.