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Point of View: Scientific Imagination in the Renaissance 

The introduction of perspective techniques transforms Europe's use of art, architecture, geography and navigation among others with its revolutionary concept of remote positioning.

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James Burke ...
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The introduction of perspective techniques transforms Europe's use of art, architecture, geography and navigation among others with its revolutionary concept of remote positioning.

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2 April 1985 (UK)  »

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A New Perspective.
25 October 2012 | by (Deming, New Mexico, USA) – See all my reviews

Interesting, informative, and entertaining -- as usual in this series. James Burke is aboard a modern US guided missile destroyer and show us how it can shoot down anything, anywhere, because it knows where it and the target are.

Then we are whisked back to the 1500s and an ancient boat with one or two primitive navigation instruments trying to grope its way from point to point along the Portugese coast.

Then we go through the use of the grid system that provided not just a measure of distance on maps but a means of apprehending perspective in painting and architecture. Welcome to the flying buttress.

Burke's presentation is sometimes a little too fast for me. He lost me with the mirrors and the doors of the Baptistry in Florence. I once saw a guy with a camera on a tripod, standing about where Burke has his painters standing, and this guy was waiting for the frame of his lens to be empty of people so he could get a clean shot. He waited and waited, his hands in his pockets, while hordes of tourists meandered slowly past the doors, sometimes stopping completely, like an unending caravan of camels. For some reason, I found myself more in awe of his patience than of the doors themselves. That has nothing to do with this episode -- I just threw it in there.

But if his explanations of what's up is at times a little fast, they're never boring. Before you have time to conclude that you couldn't follow the solution to the puzzle, the next puzzle is upon you.

Nice job, as always.


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