Unterweisung der Messung
(Instruction on Measurement)
Albrecht Dürer, German (1471-1528)
Parisiis : Ex officina Christiani Wecheli, sub scuto Basiliensi, 1535
Albrecht Dürer is one of the most famous Renaissance polymaths from northern Europe. Born in Germany in 1471, Dürer studied goldsmithing with his father before becoming an artist apprentice at age fifteen. A talented painter and printmaker, Dürer actively studied and published on subjects such as anatomy, botany, astronomy, geometry, and optics.
In this text on geometry, Dürer builds up concepts of geometry as they apply to architectural drawings and designs. He starts by discussing lines, two-dimensional shapes, and three-dimensional shapes. Next, he focuses on applying these concepts to designing tessellations and letters, and finally, to designing and depicting architectural structures. Ultimately, Dürer’s texts combine text and image to educate readers on scientific concepts as well as artists on how to more accurately and truthfully depict the natural world.