Professor Georges Farhat

UK Host Institution: British Museum
Project status

The Practice of Perspective in the Works of Du Cerceau at the British Museum

The project explores the practice of perspective by architect Jacques Androuet du Cerceau (1511-1585) in more than 250 drawings and etchings conserved at the British Museum. This collection is key to understanding the intertwined histories of perspective and landscape design in the West. Yet, despite growing scholarship on Du Cerceau, the practice of perspective in his British Museum works remains a puzzle. To fill this gap, I will work on the materiality of Du Cerceau’s drawings to reconstruct his design methods and explain why they diverged from the rules he promoted in his "Leçons de perspective" (1576). I will supplement this reconstruction with an analysis of early modern English translations of Du Cerceau’s treatise on perspective. The project will contribute to art technical history and curatorial practices, two areas of inquiry in which this Visiting Fellowship will help me to develop collaboration with other researchers in the UK and beyond.

Outputs and Media

'The Practice of Perspective in J. A. du Cerceau’s Topographical Views and Maps'

Presented at The Art and Architecture of Mapping: Visual and Material Approaches to Cartographic Objects Symposium - June 2023

'Beyond the Rules: Perspective in French Renaissance Landscape Architectural Views'

Part of the Landscape Architecture Lecture Series - 18th July 2023

'The Practice of Perspective in J. A. du Cerceau’s Works at the British Museum and Elsewhere in the UK and France'

Seminar at the British Museum's Department of Prints and Drawings - 20th July 2023

'Perspective in du Cerceau’s Topographical Views and Maps (1560–85)'

Online Workshop Presentation for Network Topographic Visual Media, Germany - 17th November 2023

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