Is the perspective of popular Congolese painting mathematically accurate? Or does it remind us of the herringbone perspective of the Flemish Primitives or the reverse perspective found on Byzantine icons? It may well do, because there is a connection, geometrically at least. And perhaps this mathematical approach enhances our appreciation of this so-called ‘naïve’ painting.

Dirk Huylebrouck has a doctorate in linear algebra (University of Ghent). He has worked as a lecturer in the Congo, Portugal and Burundi and at Maryland University Europe, which provided education for the US Army. Since 1996 he has taught at the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Leuven and at Sint-Lucas. He has written four books.