During the early modern period there was a natural correspondence between how artists might benefit from the knowledge of mathematics and how mathematicians might explore, through advances in the study of visual culture, new areas of enquiry that would uncover the mysteries of the visible world. This volume makes its contribution by offering new interdisciplinary approaches that not only investigate perspective but also examine how mathematics enriched aesthetic theory and the human mind. The contributors explore the portrayal of mathematical activity and mathematicians as well as their ideas and instruments, how artists displayed their mathematical skills and the choices visual artists made between geometry and arithmetic, as well as Euclid’s impact on drawing, artistic practice and theory. These chapters cover a broad geographical area that includes Italy, Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, France and England. The artists, philosophers and mathematicians whose work is discussed include Leon Battista Alberti, Nicholas Cusanus, Marsilio Ficino, Francesco di Giorgio, Leonardo da Vinci and Andrea del Verrocchio, as well as Michelangelo, Galileo, Piero della Francesca, Girard Desargues, William Hogarth, Albrecht Dürer, Luca Pacioli and Raphael.
Part I: The Mathematical Mind and the Search for Beauty
2. Renaissance Aesthetics and Mathematics
3. Design Method and Mathematics in Francesco di Giorgio’s Trattati
4. Mathematical and Proportion Theories in the Work of Leonardo da Vinci and Contemporary Artist/Engineers at the Turn of the Sixteenth Century
Part II: Artists as Mathematicians
5. Durer’s Underweysung der Messung and the Geometric Construction of Alphabets
6. Circling the Square: The Meaningful Use of Φ and Π in the Paintings of Piero della Francesca
Part III: Euclid and Artistic Accomplishment
7. The Point and Its Line: An Early Modern History of Movement
Caroline O. Fowler
8. Between the Golden Ratio and a Semiperfect Solid: Fra Luca Pacioli and the Portrayal of Mathematical Humanism
Renzo Baldasso and John Logan
9. Mathematical Imagination in Raphael’s School of Athens
A forum for the critical inquiry of the visual arts in the early modern world, Visual Culture in Early Modernity promotes new models of inquiry and new narratives of early modern art and its history. We welcome proposals for both monographs and essay collections that consider the cultural production and reception of images and objects. The range of topics covered in this series includes, but is not limited to, painting, sculpture and architecture as well as material objects, such as domestic furnishings, religious and/or ritual accessories, costume, scientific/medical apparata, erotica, ephemera and printed matter. We seek innovative investigations of western and non-western visual culture produced between 1400 and 1800.