The Mathematical Intelligencer

, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 33–40 | Cite as

The Geometry of Piero della Francesca

  • Mark A. Peterson


Piero’s books are a mass of detail—detailed arithmetic, detailed instructions. In the case ofDe Prospectiva Pingendi, though, we have another medium, the paintings, to reveal what it is really about. We see that a simplistic reading would completely miss the point. With the mathematical treatises we are not so fortunate—there is no other medium. If we want to know the real meaning, we have to construct it from the treatises alone by getting behind the superficial details and discovering the mathematical thought. Beneath the surface, the thought is surprisingly deep. Piero was a real mathematician—one can say it without apology.


Mathematical Intelligencer Fifteenth Century Regular Polyhedron Archimedean Solid Pythagoras Theorem 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark A. Peterson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MathematicsMount Holyoke CollegeSouth BadleyMA 01075USA

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