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date: 17 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The Renaissance marked the emergence of scientific naturalism. Implicit in this naturalism was the replacement of supernatural explanations of the cosmos with the belief that the world could be known and represented through first-hand rational investigation. This in turn inspired the tools and techniques necessary for rendering the visible world with accuracy. One of those techniques was single-point perspective. Single-point perspective placed the individual at the center of a knowable and accurately representable cosmos. For over half a millennia single-point, or linear, perspective and the primacy of the individual perceiver dominated Western art. This is the clearest convergence of humanism and the visual arts. However, beginning in the nineteenth century that primacy began to be challenged as art moved away from the demand for perspectival accuracy and the myth of the autonomous, sovereign subject was dispelled.

Keywords: Humanism, Art, Renaissance, Italy, Florence, Quattrocento, single-point perspective, modern art, art world, posthumanism, artificial intelligence

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