The Mathematics of Painting

Report
The Mathematics of Painting
Helmer ASLAKSEN
Dept. of Mathematics
National Univ. of Singapore
[email protected]
www.math.nus.edu.sg/aslaksen/
Giotto, The Flight into Egypt,
c1313

Notice how the trees are the same size
Lorenzetti, The Presentation in
the Temple, c1342

Notice how the tiles
get smaller
Masaccio, Trinity, 1427

One of the first perspective pictures
The pavement problem

CD=distance from picture to eye
Where’s the best view point?

174cm above, 770cm away
Hong Sek Chern, Pigeonholes,
1996

Use this to find out where to stand
False viewpoints

Pozzo’s ceiling (1694) and cupola (1685) in
St. Ignatius, Rome
Anamorphic art

Holbein, The Ambassadors, 1533
Is there perspective in Chinese
paintings?


Multiple viewpoints, Chen Chong Swee,
Snowscape, 1993
Raphael, The School of Athens, 1511
Leonardo, The Last Supper,
c1497

The perspective is an integral part of the
painting
Changing views on perspective



The different perspectives are an integral part
of the painting
Tan Chwee Seng, I Think Hence I Am, 1989
Montemayor, Barangay Rotunda, 1992
Dürer at the Singapore Art
Museum


Dürer, 1527
Teaching aid or tool for artists?
Perspective at SAM

Ye Shufang, Mathematical Ambiguity, 2002.
What else to see at SAM?

Tessellations
More to see at SAM!

Kaleidoscopes
Even more to do at SAM!

Polyhedra

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