Author(s) Du Breuil, Jean
Title La perspective practique...
Imprint Paris, F. Langlois’ widow, 1651
Localisation Tours, Private collection
Subject Perspective
Transcribed version of the text


     La perspective practique is the second edition of the treatise on perspective and brings together the three volumes which were published in 1642, 1647 and 1649. It is attributed to Madeleine de Colemont, François Langlois’ widow who took up her husband’s activities. In 1655 she married Pierre II Mariette. All the mistakes noted in the 1642 book were expurgated from the first volume, but the name of Girard Desargues is conspicuous by its absence. In the preface, his method is implicitly attributed “to Sire Aleaume, brought up to date by Sire Migon”, doubtless under the authority of “Sire Curabelle, very knowledgeable about the Theory and Practice, as shown in his works”. Nevertheless the treatise VI of the first volume was plagiarized from Desargues and Bosse, and in particular we find on page 155 the celebrated “Desargues cage”, changed hardly at all. Taking into account the quality of this treatise, we might believe, like Noël-Germinal Poudra, the author of a history of perspective which set the standard, (Œuvres de Desargues..., Paris, Leiber, 1864) that Curabelle, a geometer, participated directly in writing it.

Jean-Pierre Manceau (Tours) – 2011

Critical bibliography

M. Le Blanc, D’acide et d’encre, Abraham Bosse (1604-1676) et son siècle en perspectives, Paris, CNRS Éditions, 2004.

N.-G. Poudra, Histoire de la Perspective ancienne et moderne, Paris, Corréard, 1864.

N.-G. Poudra, Œuvres de Desargues, Paris, Leiber, 1864, 2, pp. 221-226.