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Mathematics in Paintings

27 Jun 2007 on learning

I'm reading a book on Golden Ratio... that's a blog for another day. But as i was reading i came across 2 very intriguing paintings and the mathematics behind them.

First one is _ Melancholia I_ by Albrecht Durer. If we observe carefully, we can see the elements of maths embedded in this... - tolls of geometry and architecture - compass, hour glass, scale,  truncated rhombohedron - The 4 × 4 magic square, with the two middle cells of the bottom row giving the date of the engraving: 1514 - comet and the rainbow

but, for me the most intriguing element has to be the magic square on the top right hand corner!

And the second one is by Jacopo de' Barbari depicting Luca Pacioli giving lesson in geometry to a pupil. One of the Platonic Solids, a dodecahedron, is seen on the right resting on top of Pacioli's book, Summa. Pacioli himself, dressed in his friar robes is copying a diagram from volume XIII of Euclid's Elements. A live demonstration of perspective drawing!