Mathematics in the Visual Arts

Mathematics in the Visual Arts
  • eBook:
    Mathematics in the Visual Arts
  • Author:
    Ruth Scheps, Marie-Christine Maurel
  • Edition:
    1 edition
  • Categories:
  • Data:
    February 17, 2021
  • ISBN:
  • ISBN-13:
  • Language:
  • Pages:
    192 pages
  • Format:

Book Description
Chapter 1. Infinity of God and Space of Men in Painting, Conditions of Possibility for the Scientific Revolution
Chapter 2. Geometry and the Life of Forms
Chapter 3. Among the Trees: Iterating Geneses of Forms, in Art and Nature
Chapter 4. The Passion of Flight: From Leonardo da Vinci to Jean Letourneur
Chapter 5. Sculptor of Fluid Movement
Chapter 6. Internal Geometry of “Salvator Mundi” (The “Cook Version”, Attributed to Leonardo da Vinci)
Chapter 7. Internal Geometry of a Night Scene by Georges de La Tour: “The Apparition of the Angel to St. Joseph”
Chapter 8. Emergilience, an Art Research Project


The presence of mathematics in the arts has been plain since at least Pythagoras’ time. This applies as much to music (rhythm, scales and chords) as to all the visual arts, which are addressed in this book. The visual arts are also related – more and more closely – to other sciences (material, life and cultural). However, in order to get to the very roots of the connections between art and science, we felt it appropriate to choose “the queen of sciences”.
Within the mathematical sciences themselves, geometry, born from the vision of space (geometry: “measuring the Earth”), is, in this respect, the first. In the words of Max Bill: “The primary element of any plastic work is geometry, in terms of relationships between positions in the plane or the space”1. Confronted with the forms they saw in nature, the early geometrists tried to understand them by drawing them in an idealized way, that is, by modeling them. In the artists’ hands, these basic forms became the means of expression with universal scope.
Before characterizing this unquestionable presence of mathematics in the works of art in more detail, we should first note that mathematics, by its very nature, has a tendency towards plastic representations: mathematical objects, created for the purpose of translating scientific abstractions into visual terms.

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