Earthly Mission

The Minimalist Beauty of a Renaissance-Era Geometry Book

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Wenzel Jamnitzer, ‘Perspectiva corporum regularium, anno MDLXVIII’ [1568], etcher: Jost Amman, printer: Christoph Heussler (all images courtesy the Getty Research Institute Digital Collections)

I guess M.C. Escher must have seen this… These beautiful minimalist images are taken from Perspectiva Corporum Regularium (Perspective of regular solids), a geometry book created in 1568 by German goldsmith and printmaker Wenzel Jamnitzer (1508–1585) and available online through the Getty Research Institute. The book is a study in shapes inspired by the five Platonic solids: tetrahedron, cube, octahedron, dodecahedron, and icosahedron. The Platonic solids were thought to be the building blocks of four basic types of matter: tetrahedron of fire, octahedron of air, cube of earth, water of icosahedron. The 12-faced solid – the dodecahedron – symbolized heaven and the universe.

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via Hyperallergic, Frank J. Swetz



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