Art and Geometry in the Long Sixteenth Century
- Bronze Medal
Switzerland /// Schweiz
Simple but flawless. That describes the first impression of this art history of the polyhedral in form of a handy book. Type area, typeface and the pictures’ warm mood radiate a sense of calm. Harmonious pictorial compositions, mathematical studies of form and geometrical bodies set the pace. Thanks to precision in printing, holding the publication – incorporating emblems of an evolving artistic intelligence – in your hands and browsing through it is pure joy.
The cover adorns a section of the painting “Portrait of Luca Pacioli” by Jacopo de’Barbari from around 1500. The section shows the right hand of the depicted drawing a geometrical form. The image detail of his left hand resting on a text passage of a book, in turn, is shown on the backside of the publication. Did Pacioli consider himself more of an artist or a mathematician?
The author of “The Polyhedrists” unfolds the history of the relationship between art and geometry in early modern Europe, told largely through the work of artisan-artists like Luca Pacioli, Albrecht Dürer, Wenzel Jamnitzer, and Lorentz Stöer. The soft textbook also gathers a detailed analysis of a rich visual panoply of the named artists, featuring paintings, prints, decorative arts and cabinetry.
This way, due respect is paid to the complexity of geometric principles in those days, which we now take for granted. A manifesto of sorts into the hitherto unexplored wilds of art and science.