David Hockney has recently hypothesized that some early Renaissance painters employed optical devices such as concave mirrors to project images of a scene or part of a scene onto their supports, which they then traced or painted over. As one of many examples, he has claimed that Hans Memling (ca. 1440–1494) built an optical projector to create his Flower Still Life, specifically when rendering its carpet. The author's perspective analysis on the image of this carpet shows that, while there is a “break” in perspective consistent with refocusing or tipping of an optical projector, there are also other larger, more significant perspective deviations that are inconsistent with the use of a projector. After presenting a simple sensitivity analysis of these results and rebutting anticipated objections, the author concludes by rejecting the claim that optical projections were used in the creation of this still life.

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