Mathematics in the Visual Arts

Mathematics in the Visual Arts

Edited by

Ruth Scheps, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
Marie-Christine Maurel, Sorbonne University, France

ISBN : 9781786306814

Publication Date : February 2021

Hardcover 190 pp

165.00 USD



Art and science are not separate universes. This book explores this claim by showing how mathematics, geometry and numerical approaches contribute to the construction of works of art.

This applies not only to modern visual artists but also to important artists of the past. To illustrate this, this book studies Leonardo da Vinci, who was both an engineer and a painter, and whose paintings can be perfectly modeled using simple geometric curves. The world gains intelligibility through elegant mathematical frameworks – from the projective spaces of painting to the most complex phase spaces of theoretical physics.

A living example of this interdisciplinarity would be the sculptures of Jean Letourneur, a specialist in both chaos sciences and carving, as evidenced in his stonework. This book also exemplifies the geometry and life of forms through contemporary works of art – including fractal art – which have never before been represented in this type of work.


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

About the authors/editors

Ruth Scheps holds a doctorate in biochemistry from the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel. She is also a radio producer and editor of the magazine Mikhtav Hadash.

Marie-Christine Maurel is a biologist and Professor at Sorbonne University, France. She is also a researcher at the Institut de Systématique, Évolution, Biodiversité (CNRS, MNHN, SU and EPHE).