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Mathematics and the Visual Arts Math 102 Spring 2003 Professor Mark Schlatter La Parade (Seurat) Stairway to Heaven (Ken Keller) A symmetry print from Escher The Flagellation of Christ (Piero della Francesca) Innerspace (Arthur Silverman)

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Mathematics and the visual arts l.jpg

Mathematics and the Visual Arts

Math 102

Spring 2003

Professor Mark Schlatter


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La Parade (Seurat)


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Stairway to Heaven (Ken Keller)


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A symmetry print from Escher


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The Flagellation of Christ (Piero della Francesca)


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Innerspace (Arthur Silverman)


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The Bride Stripped Bare By Her Bachelors, Even (Duchamp)


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Goals of this class

Using mathematical principles (with an emphasis on geometry),

  • analyze artwork

  • create artwork


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Themes of this class

  • dimension - how can artwork be described in terms of its dimensionality?

  • validity - when does mathematical analysis have a valid claim in interpreting art? when is it misused?


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Logistics

  • Syllabus

  • Web site


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Proportion in portraiture

  • The length of a man's outspread arms is equal to his height.

  • …. from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head is one eighth of his height; ….The greatest width of the shoulders contains in itself the fourth part of man. ... The whole hand will be the tenth part of the man.

  • Source: The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci, Vol. 1 (of a 2 vol. set in paperback) pp. 182-3, Dover, ISBN 0-486-22572-0.


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Proportion in portraiture

Other sites:

  • The figure-drawing lab

  • Marc Frantz’s material on perspective and proportion


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Practice

  • Use this work (Self-Portrait, Between the Clock and the Bed) by Edvard Munch to test some of the proportion rules.


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Questions

  • What concerns would drive an artist to use these proportions?

  • What concerns would drive an artist to break these proportions?

  • Consider Edvard Munch’s The Scream


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For next class….

  • Bring a ruler and graph paper.

  • Start the homework (due next Monday) on the web site.


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