In article <1991Sep30.204633.23678 at watdragon.waterloo.edu> cpshelle at logos.waterloo.edu (cameron shelley) writes:
>So far as I know, Da Vinci and his fellows applied geometry to enhance
>the `realism' of their art, but that strikes me as only one aesthetic
>approach among several.
This is correct. Da Vinci used a form of cartesian
coordinates for visualization AND more importantly used it to represent
the trajectory of light rays (he was quite an expert on light BTW;
having used prisms to break up light into component parts much before
Newton: all the others before Newton though thought that the prism
itself absorbed and then reradiated light). As to whether De Cartes
got his ideas (a la coordinates) from the artists, I have no idea.