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The Practice of Perspective, From The Original Italian Of Lorenzo Sirigatti. With The Figures Engraved By Isaac Ware, Esq;

Lorenzo Sirigatti

RA Collection: Book

Record number



Uniform Title

[Pratica di prospettiva., Part I., English., 1756.]


London:: Printed for the Author, and sold by T. Osborne, and J. Shipton, in Gray's-Inn; J. Hodges, near London-Bridge; L. Davis, in Fleet-Street; J. Ward, in Cornhill; and R. Baldwin, in Paternoster-Row., M.DCC.LVI.

Physical Description

[3-]8, [98] p., frontis.: 43 [i.e. 49] illus.; 416 mm. (Folio).

General Note

Each chapter of text is followed by one full-page or half-page illustration - except that six chapters (26, 27, 28, 29, 30 and 35) are each followed by two illustrations (making a total of 49 illustrations). Each illustration is printed on a recto facing its text printed on the preceding verso - except the first illustration (which is separated from its text by the pages carrying the address 'To The Reader' and the 'Table Of The Chapters') and the bis illustrations of chapters 26-30 and 35 (which have no text on the preceding versos). Each illustration carries the number of the chapter to which it refers, and most have also their own number - most of which do not agree with the actual count of the illustrations (as follows: 1-5, blank, blank, 7, blank, 8, blank, 9, blank, 10, blank, 11-12, blank, 13-43).


[Frontis., t.-p.] - [Text, chapter I] - To The Reader - Table Of The Chapters contained in this Work - [illustration of chapter 1, and text and illustrations of chapters II-XLIII].

Responsibility Note

No plate is signed.


Royal Institute of British Architects, British Architectural Library ... Early printed books, IV (2002), no.3045; E. Harris and N. Savage, British Architectural Books (1990), 828; Johns Hopkins University, The Fowler Architectural Collection (1961), 337. A. Perez Gomez, Architectural representation and the perspective hinge (1997).
ESTC, T153768

Summary Note

The work was first published in Italian in 1596, and may owe something to Vignola's Le due regole della prospettiva pratica (1582), which includes some similar images. Sirigatti's book provided a lucid and traditional demonstration of an intersection method for geometrical bodies. Ware's translation was attacked by Josiah Kirby in a pamphlet, Dr Brook Taylor's method of perspective compared with the examples lately published as Sirigatti's by Isaac Ware (1757), and did not sell well. But an attempt to combine the perspectival methods of Sirigatti and Vignola with those of Dr Brook Taylor was made by James Malton in his The Young Painter's Maulstick, being a practical treatise on perspective (1800).


Acquired between 1769 and 1802. Recorded in RAA Library, Catalogue, 1802.

Binding Note

18th-century half-calf, marbled-papered boards; rebacked and recornered in 20th century, black morocco spine-label lettered 'Sirigatti Perspective'.


Perspective - History
Manuals - Instructional materials - Italy - 16th century
Manuals - Instructional materials - Translations into English - Translations from Italian - Great Britain - 18th century
Pictorial works - Great Britain - 18th century


Robert Baldwin, bookseller
John Ward, bookseller
Isaac Ware, translator
J. Shipton, bookseller
Thomas Osborne, bookseller
James Hodges, bookseller
Lockyer John Davis, bookseller