The Invention of Infinity: Mathematics and Art in the Renaissance

Hardcover | April 1, 1997

byJ. V. Field

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Renaissance craftsmen, such as painters, were educated in `practical mathematics'. This book tells us the fascintating story of how the artisan tradition made important contributions not only to art but also to `proper' mathematics. Beautiful works of art and famous theorems are linkedtogether in a way that leads to a clearer understanding and greater enjoyment of both. Covering roughly the period from 1300 to 1650, the author shows how, during this time, a new form of geometry - projective geometry - emerged in the context of the artists' mathematics of perspective. Stories of taking measurements while balanced on scaffolding are interspersed with delightfulscholarly analyses of the mathematics of great works of art. The text is beautifully illustrated throughout with both photographs and drawings.

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Renaissance craftsmen, such as painters, were educated in `practical mathematics'. This book tells us the fascintating story of how the artisan tradition made important contributions not only to art but also to `proper' mathematics. Beautiful works of art and famous theorems are linkedtogether in a way that leads to a clearer understan...

J. V. Field is a Research Fellow in the Department of History of Art at Birkbeck College, University of London.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:262 pages, 9.69 × 7.44 × 0.91 inPublished:April 1, 1997Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198523947

ISBN - 13:9780198523949

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Table of Contents

1. Medieval mathematics and optics and the Renaissance style in art2. Building, drawing and 'artificial perspective'3. Through the wall: Masaccio's Trinity fresco4. Piero della Francesca's mathematics5. Piero della Francesca's perspective treatise6. Practitioners and patricians7. The Professionals move in8. Beyond the Ancients9. Fragmented perspectiveAppendix 1 The abacists' favourite scalene triangle: 13, 14, 15Bibliography

Editorial Reviews

`Field's book is indeed a shot of adrenaline in the timid arm of Renaissance art history. Trained as both an art historian and a mathematician, Field plunges right in with a rigorous analysis of the fifteenth-century Italian painter Piero della Francesca's manuscript treatises onmathematics.'Nature