João Pedro Xavier
Faculdade de Arquitectura da Universidade do Porto
Rua do Gólgota 215, 4150-755 Porto, PORTUGAL

Proposition 32, from Antonio Rodrigues's Tratado de Arquitectura, Book of Perspective, fol. 45v/46r

The significance of the Liuro de Perspectiva (Book of Perspective), attributed to António Rodrigues, lies mainly in the introduction of an innovative perspective rule designed to solve questions raised by the propagation of inaccuracies and insufficiencies of previous methods. However, the author's scientific limitations prevented him from fully understanding the enormous potential of his geometrically accurate construction. Decoding and verifying the validity of this peculiar perspective rule leads to the center of the debate surrounding the origins of perspectiva artificialis. Rodrigues's work demonstrates a striking fidelity to central perspective, especially obvious in one centrally-planned composition with ad quadratum and ad circulum geometry. Rodrigues's own Onze Mil Virgens Chapel, built some time before 1565 in Alcácer do Sal is a prime example of these concepts.

About the author
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. is an architect and geometry teacher. He received his degree in Architecture from the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Porto (FAUP), a Ph.D. in Architecture in 2005, and has been licensed as an architect at the College of Architects in Porto since 1986. He has won academic prizes, including the Prémio Florêncio de Carvalho and Prémio Engº António de Almeida. He worked in Álvaro Siza's office from 1986 to 1999. At the same time, he established his own practice as an architect. He has been teaching geometry since 1985 at the Architecture School of Cooperativa Árvore in Porto, the Fine Arts School of Porto, and at FAUP from 1991 to the present. He is the author of Perspectiva, perspectiva acelerada e contraperspectiva (FAUP Publicações, 1997) and Sobre as origens da perspectiva em Portugal (FAUP Publicações, 2006). Xavier has always been interested in the relationship between architecture and mathematics, especially geometry. He published several works and papers on the subject, presented conferences and lectures and taught courses to high school teachers. He presented "António Rodrigues, a Portuguese architect with a scientific inclination" at the Nexus 2002 conference in Óbidos, Portugal and "Leonardo's Representational Technique for Centrally-Planned Temples" at the 2003 seminar entitled "Leonardo: Architecture and Mathematics", in Vinci and Ponte a Egola, Italy, published in the Nexus Network Journal, vol. 10, no.1 (Spring 2008).

The correct citation for this paper is:
João Pedro Xavier, "The Book of Perspective of António Rodrigues's Architectural Treatise from 1576", pp. 63-78 in Nexus VII: Architecture and Mathematics, ed. Kim Williams, Turin: Kim Williams Books, 2008.