Renaissance Vision from Spectacles to Telescopes

American Philosophical Society, 2007 - 378 páginas
Deals with the history of eyeglasses from their invention in Italy ca. 1286 to the appearance of the telescope three cent. later. "By the end of the 16th cent. eyeglasses were as common in western and central Europe as desktop computers are in western developed countries today." Eyeglasses served an important technological function at both the intellectual and practical level, not only easing the textual studies of scholars but also easing the work of craftsmen/small bus. During the 15th cent. two crucial developments occurred: the ability to grind convex lenses for various levels of presbyopia and the ability to grind concave lenses for the correction of myopia. As a result, eyeglasses could be made almost to prescription by the early 17th cent. Illus.

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Página 61 - E però puote anche la stella parere turbata; e io fui esperto di questo l'anno medesimo, che nacque questa canzone, che per affaticare lo viso molto a studio di leggere, in tanto debilitai gli spiriti visivi, che le stelle mi pareano tutte d'alcuno albore ombrate...
Página 246 - I leave it to natural philosophers to discuss the way in which this image or picture (pictura) is put together by the spiritual principles of vision residing in the retina and in the nerves, and whether it is made to appear before the soul or tribunal of the faculty of vision by a spirit within the cerebral cavities, or the faculty of vision, like a magistrate sent by the soul, goes out from the council chamber of the brain to meet this image in the optic nerves and retina, as it were descending...
Página 65 - Author of all ages and times permits us miserable mortals, puffed up with emptiness, thus to wander about, until finally, coming to a tardy consciousness of our sins, we shall learn to know ourselves. In my prime I was blessed with a quick and active body, although not exceptionally strong; and while I do not lay claim to remarkable personal beauty, I was comely enough in my best days.
Página 61 - Canzone, e' par che tu parli contraro al dir d'una sorella che tu hai; che questa donna, che tanto umil fai, 75 ella la chiama fera e disdegnosa. Tu sai che '1 ciel sempr'e lucente e chiaro, e quanto in se non si turba gia mai; ma li nostri occhi per cagioni assai chiaman la Stella talor tenebrosa.
Página 195 - I do not know how it is that paintings that are without fault look beautiful in a mirror; and it is remarkable how every defect in a picture appears more unsightly in a mirror.
Página 46 - I have already said there are mirrors which increase every object they reflect. I will add that everything is much larger when you look at it through water. Letters, however tiny and obscure, are seen larger and clearer through a glass ball filled with water.
Página 9 - It is not yet twenty years since there was found the art of making eye-glasses which make for good vision, one of the best arts and most necessary that the world has.
Página 65 - Forma non glorior excellenti, sed quae placere viridioribus annis posset; colore vivido inter candidum et subnigrum; vivacibus oculis et visu per longum tempus acerrimo, qui praeter spem supra sexagesimum xtatis annum me destituit, ut indignanti 25 mihi ad ocularium confugiendum esset auxilium. Tota aetate sanissimum corpus senectus invasit: et solita morborum acie circumvenit.
Página 74 - B. Smalley, English Friars and Antiquity in the Early Fourteenth Century (Oxford, 1960), p.
Página 196 - When you wish to see whether your whole picture accords with what you have portrayed from nature take a mirror and reflect the actual object in it. Compare what is reflected with your painting and carefully consider whether both likenesses of the subject correspond, particularly in regard to the mirror.

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