The PRC is proud to announce the publication of Professor Kim Veltman’s Encyclopedia of Perspective; a colossal project that Kim worked on for over 40 years and his magnum-opus, being the definitive work on its subject matter that is a wonder to behold.


This book is the first unabridged edition of Kim Veltman’s monumental Encyclopedia of Perspective; providing a comprehensive treatise on the key topic/method of perspective; herein meticulously placed into a myriad of historical contexts. Behold the epic story of perspective, beautifully presented in relation to all of its origins, kaleidoscopic source(s), vast literature(s), and in a wondrous variety of expressive forms. Professor Veltman’s definitive encyclopedia on perspective is articulated using one million words, 2500 pages, eight volumes, 15,000 bibliographic titles, and has over 1000 illustrations.

The encyclopedia is a fountainhead of profound wisdom on all topics related to perspective, and it is arranged in 3 parts. To begin, we have Part 1: The Sources of Perspective (volumes: 1:Treatise, 2:Plates). Whereby focus is placed on the role of the Renaissance, beginning with basic definitions of linear perspective.

It lists the main centres where perspective texts were published, tracing a shift from Italy in the 15th century, to Germany and France in the 17th, London in the 18th, before becoming an international phenomenon in the 19th century. In the process, it was variously classed under optics, drawing, and mathematics (geometry). The latter part of the book explores the major implications of Renaissance perspective regarding instrumentation and science, art and representation, architecture and the environment, imagination, and freedom.

Secondly, we have Part 2: The Literature of Perspective (volumes: 3:Treatise, 4:Plates, 5:Appendix). Whereby explored are the implications of perspective in the past century. It begins with early theories of art historians, psychologists, philosophers, Marxists, the role of media, optics, and instruments. Later chapter(s) examine changing relations between vision and representation, the role of retinal images, geometrical versus visual space, and the status of perspective. The following chapters outline technical applications (e.g., scenography, intarsia, trompe-l’oeil, quadrature, architecture, gardens and environment, alternative methods, instruments, and machines) and metaphorical applications (e.g., philosophy, literature, psychology, psychiatry, etymology, sociology, theology).

A concluding section reviews recent developments such as geographical information systems (GIS), global positioning systems (GPS), virtual reality (VR), computer graphics (CG), computer generated imagery (CGI), holograms and space imagery. Finally, we have Part 3: The Bibliography of Perspective (volumes: 6: Chronology: Antiquity-1899, 7: Chronology: 1899-2020, 8: Alphabetical List), which are chronological/alphabetical list(s) of the complete database of 15,000 manuscripts, treatises, books, and articles on perspective.

This one-of-a-kind—Encyclopedia of Perspective—can inspire and inform students about the origins, technical details, and compelling history of perspective. It is a must-have for anyone seriously interested in the visual dimensions of art, science, and culture, and it makes a fine addition to any school, college and university library.

World Bibliographic Database on Perspective

Professor Kim H. Veltman was the founder and Scientific Director of The Perspective Unit—which began research work on perspective formally as part of the McLuhan Program at the University of Toronto (1990). Later the Unit became part of the Maastricht McLuhan Institute again under Kim’s direction (1998-2004), and then finally, from 2004 at the Virtual Maastricht Institute based at his home until the sad passing of Kim in 2020.

The project began while preparing a bibliography commissioned by the organizers (Marisa Dalai Emiliani at the suggestion of Eugenio Battisti) of the first world conference on perspective (Milan, 1977). Work continued on this while in Germany from 1977 to 1984, with the Volkswagen, Humboldt, Thyssen, and Henkel Foundations. In 1986-1987, the titles of 8,000 primary and 7,000 secondary sources were entered into a computer (IBM compatible AT, with DBASEIII PLUS) with the support of the Getty Center for the History of Art in Santa Monica.

Today the result of all Kim’s hard work for so many years is that we have the first and only comprehensive bibliography of perspective: with over 15,000 titles, and it has become the Standard World Database on Perspective.

The Encyclopedia of Perspective

PRC recently published Kim Veltman’s “The Encyclopedia of Perspective” which is the definitive reference text on this subject; articulated using one million words, 2500 pages, eight volumes, 15,000 bibliographic titles, and over 1000 illustrations.

The eight volumes of The Encyclopaedia of Perspective are free to download, but the volumes are also available for purchase in printed form on Amazon.

We have published the database as part of Kim Veltman’s Encyclopaedia of Perspective (formerly known as the Sources and Bibliography of Perspective). The database is named as a Bibliography of perspective and makes up volumes 6, 7, and 8 as seen below.

Encyclopedia First Edition

PRC has published the unfinished first edition of “The Encyclopedia of Perspective” because we believe that this monumental and unique treatise contains vitally important knowledge that quite simply, cannot be obtained anywhere else. The text of the treatise is complete and finished, apart from a few lists at the end of each volume, and also the appendix is not finished.

Because Kim Veltman had not quite finished the encyclopedia at the time of his passing, some aspects of the encyclopedia remain partially unfinished. However, unfinished parts are mostly limited to appendices, and incorrect and out-of-sequence section numbers and associated references, incorrect plate and figure numbers, two missing plate images, plus missing and out-of-sequence bibliographic references etc. Such minor omissions, we believe, do not detract from the usefulness of the publication.

At some point in the future, we do intend to bring out a second edition of the encyclopedia with all corrections made plus any minor typographical errors fixed.

Download ‘The Encyclopedia of Perspective’ [first edition: January 2021] below.

Volume 1: The Sources of Perspective (treatise)

Volume 2:  The Sources of Perspective (plates)

Volume 3: The Literature of Perspective (treatise)

Volume 4:  The Literature of Perspective (plates)

Volume 5: The Literature of Perspective (appendix)

Volume 6: The Bibliography of Perspective (chronological list: Antiquity-1899)

Volume 7:  The Bibliography of Perspective (chronological list: 1900-2020)

Volume 8: The Bibliography of Perspective (alphabetical list: Antiquity-2020)

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The 'Encyclopedia of Perspective' is freely available as a pdf download above. 

The Encyclopedia of Perspective is also available as a series of printed books from Amazon.com. Enjoy!

Alan Radley -- 22.11.21 --

Dr Alan Radley FRSA | Scientific Director

Perspective Research Centre