“Jan van Eyck’s Perspectival System Elucidated Through Computer Vision” by Simon

  • ©Gilles Simon




    Jan van Eyck's Perspectival System Elucidated Through Computer Vision



    It is generally accepted that Jan van Eyck was unaware of perspective. However, an a-contrario analysis of the vanishing points in five of his paintings, realized between 1432 and 1439, unveils a recurring fishbone-like pattern that could only emerge from the use of a polyscopic perspective machine with two degrees of freedom. A 3D reconstruction of Arnolfini Portrait compliant with this pattern suggests that van Eyck’s device answered a both aesthetic and scientific questioning on how to represent space as closely as possible to human vision. This discovery makes van Eyck the father of today’s immersive and nomadic creative media such as augmented reality and synthetic holography.


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