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January 18, 2019

The genius of Italian artist Paolo Uccello

San Romano Battle (London).
San Romano Battle (London).

How does creative intellect work? It synthesises unrelated systems creating new meaning. The genius of Italian artist Paolo Uccello (1397–1475) synthesised art and science.

Seeking to understand how vision works and how art appears to the eye, he pioneered investigations into geometry and perspectives in art. In the triptych of The Battle of San Romano, incorporating multiple vanishing points, Uccello creates a space which is not based on successive observation.

Lances and bodies of horses and men are carefully aligned to create perspective. And, integrating an oblique vision (scenes are depicted at various angles), he makes looking at the painting more comfortable for the eye from various points and so intensifies our emotional involvement. Five centuries on, Uccello's ideas still make him truly contemporary artist. 


Alla Tkachuk, the founder of creativity school MASK, For further reading on 'How to Look at Art', visit

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