The Da Vinci Notebooks at sacred-texts.com
This diagram distinguishes natural from artificial perspective. But before proceeding any farther I will define what is natural and what is artificial perspective. Natural perspective says that the more remote of a series of
objects of equal size will look the smaller, and conversely, the nearer will look the larger and the apparent size will diminish in proportion to the distance. But in artificial perspective when objects of unequal size are placed at various distances, the smallest is nearer to the eye than the largest and the greatest distance looks as though it were the least of all; and the cause of this is the plane on which the objects are represented; and which is at unequal distances from the eye throughout its length. And this diminution
of the plane is natural, but the perspective shown upon it is artificial since it nowhere agrees with the true diminution of the said plane. Whence it follows, that when the eye is somewhat removed from the [station point of the] perspective that it has been gazing at, all the objects represented look monstrous, and this does not occur in natural perspective, which has been defined above. Let us say then, that the square a b c d figured above is foreshortened being seen by the eye situated in the centre of the side which is in front. But a mixture of artificial and natural perspective will be seen in this tetragon called el main 52 , that is to say e f g h which must appear to the eye of the spectator to be equal to a b c d so long as the eye remains in its first position between c and d. And this will be seen to have a good effect, because the natural perspective of the plane will conceal the defects which would [otherwise] seem monstrous.
65:52 20: el main is quite legibly written in the original; the meaning and derivation of the word are equally doubtful.