Mathematics and the visual arts
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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

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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)


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


Goals of this class

Using mathematical principles (with an emphasis on geometry),

  • analyze artwork

  • create artwork


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?


Logistics

  • Syllabus

  • Web site


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.


Proportion in portraiture

Other sites:

  • The figure-drawing lab

  • Marc Frantz’s material on perspective and proportion


Practice

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


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


For next class….

  • Bring a ruler and graph paper.

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


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