List of mathematical artists

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Broken lances lying along perspective lines[1] in Paolo Uccello's The Battle of San Romano, 1438
Small stellated dodecahedron, from De divina proportione by Luca Pacioli, woodcut by Leonardo da Vinci. Venice, 1509
Rencontre dans la porte tournante by Man Ray, 1922, with helix
Four-dimensional geometry in Painting 2006-7 by Tony Robbin
Mathematical sculpture by Bathsheba Grossman, 2007
Heart by Hamid Naderi Yeganeh, 2014, using a family of trigonometric equations[2]

This is a list of artists who actively explored mathematics in their artworks.[3] Art forms practised by these artists include painting, sculpture, architecture, textiles and origami.

Some artists such as Piero della Francesca and Luca Pacioli went so far as to write books on mathematics in art. Della Francesca wrote books on solid geometry and the emerging field of perspective, including De Prospectiva Pingendi (On Perspective for Painting), Trattato d’Abaco (Abacus Treatise), and De corporibus regularibus (Regular Solids),[4][5][6] while Pacioli wrote De divina proportione (On Divine Proportion), with illustrations by Leonardo da Vinci, at the end of the fifteenth century.[7]

Merely making accepted use of some aspect of mathematics such as perspective does not quality an artist for admission to this list.

The term "fine art" is used conventionally to cover the output of artists who produce a combination of paintings, drawings and sculptures.


Mathematical artists
Artist Dates Artform Contribution to mathematical art
Calatrava, Santiago 1951– Architecture Mathematically-based architecture[3][8]
Da Vinci, Leonardo 1452–1519 Fine art Mathematically-inspired proportion, including golden ratio (used as golden rectangles)[9][10]
Della Francesca, Piero 1420–1492 Fine art Mathematical principles of perspective in art;[11] his books include De prospectiva pingendi (On perspective for painting), Trattato d’Abaco (Abacus treatise), and De corporibus regularibus (Regular solids)
Demaine, Erik and Martin 1981– Origami "Computational origami": mathematical curved surfaces in self-folding paper sculptures[12][13][14]
Dietz, Ada 1882–1950 Textiles Weaving patterns based on the expansion of multivariate polynomials[15]
Draves, Scott 1968– Digital art Video art, VJing[16][17][18][19][20]
Dürer, Albrecht 1471–1528 Fine art Mathematical theory of proportion[9][21]
Ernest, John 1922–1994 Fine art Use of group theory, self-replicating shapes in art[22][23]
Escher, M. C. 1898–1972 Fine art Exploration of tessellations, hyperbolic geometry, assisted by the geometer H. S. M. Coxeter[9][24]
Farmanfarmaian, Monir 1924– Fine art Geometric constructions exploring the infinite, especially mirror mosaics[25]
Ferguson, Helaman 1940– Digital art Algorist, Digital artist[3]
Forakis, Peter 1927–2009 Sculpture Pioneer of geometric forms in sculpture[26][27]
Grossman, Bathsheba 1966– Sculpture Sculpture based on mathematical structures[28][29]
Hart, George W. 1955– Sculpture Sculptures of 3-dimensional tessellations (lattices)[3][30][31]
Hill, Anthony 1930– Fine art Geometric abstraction in Constructivist art[32][33]
Longhurst, Robert 1949– Sculpture Sculptures of minimal surfaces, saddle surfaces, and other mathematical concepts[34]
Man Ray 1890–1976 Fine art Photographs and paintings of mathematical models in Dada and Surrealist art[35]
Naderi Yeganeh, Hamid 1990– Fine art Exploration of tessellations (resembling rep-tiles)[36][37]
Pacioli, Luca 1447–1517 Fine art Polyhedra (e.g. rhombicuboctahedron) in Renaissance art;[9][38] proportion, in his book De divina proportione
Perry, Charles O. 1929–2011 Sculpture Mathematically-inspired sculpture[3][39][40]
Robbin, Tony 1943– Fine art Painting, sculpture and computer visualizations of four-dimensional geometry[41]
Sugimoto, Hiroshi 1948– Photography,
Photography and sculptures of mathematical models,[42] inspired by the work of Man Ray [43] and Marcel Duchamp[44][45]
Taimina, Daina 1954– Textiles Crochets of hyperbolic space[46]
Uccello, Paolo 1397–1475 Fine art Innovative use of perspective grid, objects as mathematical solids (e.g. lances as cones)[47][48]
Verhoeff, Jacobus 1927– Sculpture Escher-inspired mathematical sculptures such as lattice configurations and fractal formations[3][49]


  1. ^ Benford, Susan. "Famous Paintings: The Battle of San Romano". Masterpiece Cards. Retrieved 8 June 2015. 
  2. ^ "Mathematical Imagery: Mathematical Concepts Illustrated by Hamid Naderi Yeganeh". American Mathematical Society. Retrieved 8 June 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Monthly essays on mathematical topics: Mathematics and Art". American Mathematical Society. Retrieved 7 June 2015. 
  4. ^ Piero della Francesca, De Prospectiva Pingendi, ed. G. Nicco Fasola, 2 vols., Florence (1942).
  5. ^ Piero della Francesca, Trattato d'Abaco, ed. G. Arrighi, Pisa (1970).
  6. ^ Piero della Francesca, L'opera "De corporibus regularibus" di Pietro Franceschi detto della Francesca usurpata da Fra Luca Pacioli, ed. G. Mancini, Rome, (1916).
  7. ^ Swetz, Frank J.; Katz, Victor J. "Mathematical Treasures - De Divina Proportione, by Luca Pacioli". Mathematical Association of America. Retrieved 7 June 2015. 
  8. ^ Greene, Robert. "How Santiago Calatrava blurred the lines between architecture and engineering to make buildings move". Arch daily. Retrieved 7 June 2015. 
  9. ^ a b c d "Feature Column from the AMS". American Mathematical Society. Retrieved 7 June 2015. 
  10. ^ "Leonardo DaVinci and the Golden Section". University of Regina. Retrieved 7 June 2015. 
  11. ^ Field, J. V. (2005). Piero della Francesca. A Mathematician’s Art (PDF). Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-10342-5. 
  12. ^ Yuan, Elizabeth (2 July 2014). "Video: Origami Artists Don't Fold Under Pressure". The Wall Street Journal. 
  13. ^ Demaine, Erik; Demaine, Martin. "Curved-Crease Sculpture". Retrieved 8 June 2015. 
  14. ^ "Erik Demaine and Martin Demaine". MoMA. Museum of Modern Art. Retrieved 8 June 2015. 
  15. ^ Dietz, Ada K. (1949). Algebraic Expressions in Handwoven Textiles (PDF). Louisville, Kentucky: The Little Loomhouse. 
  16. ^ Birch, K. (20 August 2007). "Cogito Interview: Damien Jones, Fractal Artist". 
  17. ^ Bamberger, A. (2007-01-18). "San Francisco Art Galleries - Openings". Retrieved 2008-03-11. 
  18. ^ "Gallery representing Draves' video art". Archived from the original on 2008-06-06. Retrieved 2008-03-11. 
  19. ^ "VJ: It's not a disease". Keyboard Magazine. April 2005. 
  20. ^ Wilkinson, Alec (2004-06-07). "Incomprehensible". New Yorker Magazine. 
  21. ^ "Albrecht Dürer". University of St Andrews. Retrieved 7 June 2015. 
  22. ^ Beineke, Lowell; Wilson, Robin (2010). "The Early History of the Brick Factory Problem". The Mathematical Intelligencer. 32 (2): 41–48. doi:10.1007/s00283-009-9120-4. 
  23. ^ Ernest, Paul. "John Ernest, A Mathematical Artist". University of Exeter. Retrieved 7 June 2015. 
  24. ^ "M.C. Escher and Hyperbolic Geometry". The Math Explorers' Club. 2009. Retrieved 7 June 2015. 
  25. ^ "BBC 100 Women 2015: Iranian artist Monir Farmanfarmaian". BBC. 26 November 2015. Retrieved 27 November 2015. 
  26. ^ Smith, Roberta (17 December 2009). "Peter Forakis, a Sculptor of Geometric Forms, Is Dead at 82". The New York Times. Often consisting of repeating, flattened volumes tilted on a corner, Mr. Forakis’s work had a mathematical demeanor; sometimes it evoked the black, chunky forms of the Minimalist sculptor Tony Smith. 
  27. ^ "Peter Forakis, Originator of Geometry-Based Sculpture, Dies at 82". Art Daily. Retrieved 7 June 2015. 
  28. ^ "The Math Geek Holiday Gift Guide". Scientific American. November 23, 2014. Retrieved June 7, 2015. 
  29. ^ Hanna, Raven. "Gallery: Bathsheba Grossman". Symmetry Magazine. Retrieved 7 June 2015. 
  30. ^ "George W. Hart". Bridges Math Art. Retrieved 7 June 2015. 
  31. ^ "George Hart". Simons Foundation. Retrieved 7 June 2015. 
  32. ^ "Anthony Hill". Artimage. Retrieved 7 June 2015. 
  33. ^ "Anthony Hill: Relief Construction 1960-2". Tate Gallery. Retrieved 7 June 2015. The artist has suggested that his constructions can best be described in mathematical terminology, thus ‘the theme involves a module, partition and a progression’ which ‘accounts for the disposition of the five white areas and permuted positioning of the groups of angle sections’. (Letter of 24 March 1963.) 
  34. ^ Friedman, Nathaniel (July 2007). "Robert Longhurst: Three Sculptures". Hyperseeing: 9–12. The surfaces [of Longhurst's sculptures] generally have appealing sections with negative curvature (saddle surfaces). This is a natural intuitive result of Longhurst's feeling for satisfying shape rather than a mathematically deduced result. 
  35. ^ "Man Ray–Human Equations A Journey from Mathematics to Shakespeare February 7 - May 10, 2015". Phillips Collection. Retrieved 7 June 2015. 
  36. ^ Bellos, Alex (24 February 2015). "Catch of the day: mathematician nets weird, complex fish". The Guardian. 
  37. ^ "Continents, Math Explorers' Club, and "I use math for…"". April 2015. Retrieved June 7, 2015. 
  38. ^ Hart, George. "Luca Pacioli's Polyhedra". Retrieved 7 June 2015. 
  39. ^ "Dodecahedron". Wolfram MathWorld. Retrieved 7 June 2015. 
  40. ^ William Grimes (11 February 2011). "Charles O. Perry Dies at 81; Sculptor Inspired by Geometry". New York Times. Retrieved November 10, 2012. 
  41. ^ Radcliff, Carter; Kozloff, Joyce; Kushner, Robert (2011). Tony Robbin: A Retrospective. Hudson Hills Press. ISBN 1-555-95367-0. 
  42. ^ "Portfolio Slideshow (Mathematical Forms)". New York Times. Retrieved 9 June 2015. Mathematical Form 0009: Conic surface of revolution with constant negative curvature. x = a sinh v cos u; y = a sinh v sin u; z = ... 
  43. ^ "Hiroshi Sugimoto: Conceptual Forms and Mathematical Models". Phillips Collection. Retrieved 9 June 2015. 
  44. ^ "Hiroshi Sugimoto". Gagosian Gallery. Retrieved 9 June 2015. Conceptual Forms (Hypotrochoid), 2004 Gelatin silver print 
  45. ^ "art21: Hiroshi Sugimoto". PBS. Retrieved 9 June 2015. 
  46. ^ "A Cuddly, Crocheted Klein Quartic Curve". Scientific American. 17 November 2013. Retrieved 7 June 2015. 
  47. ^ "Paolo Uccello". J. Paul Getty Museum. Retrieved 7 June 2015. 
  48. ^ "The Battle of San Romano, Paolo Uccello (c1435-60)". The Guardian. 29 March 2003. Retrieved 7 June 2015. it is his bold enjoyment of its mathematical development of shapes - the lances as long slender cones, the receding grid of broken arms on the ground, the wonderfully three-dimensional horses, the armoured men as systems of solids extrapolated in space - that makes this such a Renaissance masterpiece. 
  49. ^ "Koos Verhoeff - mathematical art". Ars et Mathesis. Retrieved 8 June 2015. 

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