Treatise on perspective
(Hrvoje Turković, Razumijevanje perspektive. Teorija likovnog razabiranja / Understanding Perspective. Theory of Visual Cognition, Durieux, Zagreb, 2002.
Perspective is a layered term with different connotations in culture, science, and art, as well as in everyday speech. With renaissance, that is to say, Alberti’s tractate Della Pittura(1436), perspective became synonym for the art of ’mathematical’ transfer of visual perception to the surface of the painting, but at the same time for a corresponding, primarily painting, artistic practice, while Erwin Panofsky elevated the term of perspective to the speculative level of culturological interpretation. In Croatia, several theoreticians dealt with the subject, namely Radovan Ivančević (Perspectives, 1996), while Hrvoje Turković’s Understanding perspective is one of rare Croatian studies that deal with the phenomenon with serious criticism. However, Turković’s terminology is often unclear — for example, term ’visual discernment’ could refer to visual perception, understanding visual arts, or understanding world in artistic manner, or perhaps to artistic, that is to say, visual opinion... Although severely criticizes Ivančević’s terminology, Turković himself often succumbs to imprecision, while his complicated style makes the reading difficult even for experts, let alone students who are suppose to profit from this book. Turković wishes to offer a systematic and thorough introduction into this important, interdisciplinary subject (both for painting, film, psychology...) and his area of expertise is truly fascinating, still, he lacks some unavoidable historical-artistic references about perspective, for example studies by Norman Bryson, Hubert Damisch, and Martin Kemp.