By thus demonstrating to the public the breathtaking realism of his newly discovered system of linear geometric perspective, it seemed to Brunelleschi’s contemporaries that he had discovered how to re-create the world through the power of an art that precisely reflected physical reality as it is seen by the detached observer.
Alberti even described Brunelleschi as a second in his dedication to him in the Italian edition of his book, in which he presented a systematic explanation of Brunelleschi’s perspective system for use by artists and architects.
By thus freezing space and time in a single moment from a single point of view, (as the camera would someday do even more convincingly), linear perspective granted the artist an illusion of power over the mortal realm and promised a kind of deliverance from the fear of death that accompanied the rise of individualism at the beginning of the modern age.
Rather than seeing perspectival painting as being opposed to Christian teachings about the nature of God and cosmos, as St.
This great transformation in consciousness and culture arose first in the realm of art, and is marked by the discovery of linear geometric perspective by the Florentine architect Filippo Brunelleschi (1377-1446) at the beginning of the fifteenth century.
This invention then spread throughout the western world when the rules for perspective were codified by artist, architect and philosopher Leon Battista Alberti (1404-1472) in his widely influential book, which was published in 1435.“In the conventions of perspectival image-art, the physical eye and the ego-'I' are the same.” By contrast, Adi Da explains that, “The intrinsically ego-transcending root-presumption associated with the image-art I make and do is precisely the opposite of the ego-based and ego-idealizing root-presumption associated with perspectival image-art.Perspectival image-art glorifies the ego’s construction of the world—as if that ego-constructed world is (itself) Reality Itself—whereas Reality Itself is always prior to the ego’s construction of a world and to any and every 'point of view' within the world.” Properly understood, then, Adi Da’s aperspectival images must be seen and experienced as a literal inversion of the logic and method of Narcissus and a radical response to the limitations implicit in perspectival vision that have dominated the last six hundred years of Western art, architecture, science and religion.Perspective revolutionized art and architecture, and even culture altogether, in the Western world for the next five hundred years, contributing to the rise of Cartesian science, Enlightenment Reason and the modern culture of secular humanism.Thus, it would not be too much of an exaggeration to say that the world we live in today largely finds its origins in ideas, perceptions and practices that grew out of the artistic culture of the city of Florence some six hundred years ago.The Modernist Revolt Against Perspectival Consciousness and Vision In a complex and often paradoxical process that began with the invention of perspective in the Renaissance, the ego-centered and materialistic development of Western civilization progressed unchallenged for hundreds of years, following the inexorable logic of its own premises and methods.Then, suddenly and unexpectedly at the beginning of the 20th century, all the arts and sciences exploded in what can only be described as a widespread rebellion in the western world against the limitations of perspectival thought, perception and expression.Astonishingly to all who were gathered, each viewer saw what appeared to be the actual scene of the Baptistery and Piazza of San Giovanni as it would have appeared had they been standing and looking at it from the portal of the Duomo.The effect of the mirror was to minimize the viewer’s awareness of the presence of the painted surface and to intensify the sense of depth of the painting.Adi Da’s collateral exhibition at the 52nd Biennale di Venezia in 2007, curated by renowned art critic, Achille Bonito Oliva, marked the first time his visual art was shown to an international art public.During the spring of 2008 selections from that exhibition are once again on view at the exhibit, , displayed in the Cenacolo di Ognissanti in Florence, Italy.