Everyone who has studied medieval or modern history knows that the periodisation of the eras on either side of the Renaissance provides much food for thought. This contribution aims irst to address the usefulness of the widespread concept of the ‘Northern Renaissance’.
During this study we began to examine paintings for the presence of optical artifacts that could serve as supporting scientific evidence for these visual observations. Here we briefly describe some of the scientific evidence contained within three paintings that demonstrate lenses were in use by certain artists to project images as early as c1425. We present only a general discussion here, and refer interested readers to previous publications for details.