The optics of Jan van Eyck and Ibn al-Haytham

Charles M Falco, Aimée L. Weintz Allen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


Ibn al-Haytham (Latinized as Alhazen or Alhacen) wrote nearly one hundred works on topics as diverse as poetry and politics. With his landmark seven-volume Kitāb al-Manāzir [Book of Optics], published sometime between 1028 [418 A.H.] and 1038 [429 A.H.], he made intellectual contributions that subsequently were incorporated throughout the core of post-Medieval Western culture, including its optics and art. We have used material from both the writings of Ibn al-Haytham and the paintings of Jan van Eyck in a workshop teaching modern optical principles to a variety of audiences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2012
EventOptics Education and Outreach II - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Aug 12 2012Aug 13 2012


OtherOptics Education and Outreach II
CountryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA



  • Alhazen
  • Art
  • Holbein
  • Human vision
  • Image analysis
  • Paintings
  • Renaissance
  • Van Eyck

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Mathematics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics

Cite this

Falco, C. M., & Weintz Allen, A. L. (2012). The optics of Jan van Eyck and Ibn al-Haytham. In Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering (Vol. 8481). [84810L]