Mathematics and Art: A Cultural History
Princeton University Press
Mathematics is dreaded by many, while the arts at large enjoy a better rep. However, the pursuit and adherence to patterns, formulas and ratios is more often than not the DNA of some of the most significant pieces of art.
It did not take The Da Vinci Code to illuminate a mainstream audience that Leonardo Da Vinci’s oeuvre is largely made of mathematical explorations and was the foundation upon which some of his most striking art is based and the new age with digital technology pushing boundaries on a daily basis has taken the mathematics / art connection to a whole new level and using mathematics creatively.
Mathematics and Art: A cultural history is one opulently illustrated tome of a coffee table book. A coffee table book that does not only look great but is meticulously researched and documented, creating a nexus of philosophy, science, art and mathematics that reaches back to antiquity.
Given the myriad of approaches, schools of thought and theories, it serves as a guide to shed light on seemingly opposing visions and thereby making abstract concepts more tangible through well-written intelligent accompanying essays and contextualised quotes.
In essence, this rich and sumptuously illustrated anthology chronicles and encapsulates the cradle of Western civilization and its appeal is that it is both accessible and challenging, serving as a source of reference for reading and research without overwhelming the recipient no matter what the background might be – arts or mathematics – and creating an opus larger than the sum of both individual components.
An enriching tome that is pervaded by attention to detail as mesmerizing artworks and mathematical diagrams are juxtaposed, leaving the reader with a sense of clarity, beauty and the truth that almost everything in nature can be explained and predicted by mathematics.