The Structure of Paintings

  • Michael Leyton

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-vi
  2. Pages 73-128
  3. Pages 129-199
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 201-237

About this book


Michael Leyton has developed new foundations for geometry in which shape is equivalent to memory storage. A principal argument of these foundations is that artworks are maximal memory stores. The theory of geometry is developed from Leyton's fundamental laws of memory storage, and this book shows that these laws determine the structure of paintings. Furthermore, the book demonstrates that the emotion expressed by a painting is actually the memory extracted by the laws. Therefore, the laws of memory storage allow the systematic and rigorous mapping not only of the compositional structure of a painting, but also of its emotional expression. The argument is supported by detailed analyses of paintings by Picasso, Raphael, Cezanne, Gauguin, Modigliani, Ingres, De Kooning, Memling, Balthus and Holbein.


artistic composition bifurcation curvature emotional expression memory storage shape smothness-breaking

Authors and affiliations

  • Michael Leyton
    • 1
  1. 1.Psychology Department, Center for Discrete Mathematics & Theoretical Computer ScienceRutgers UniversityNew BrunswickUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag/Wien 2006
  • Publisher Name Springer, Vienna
  • eBook Packages Engineering
  • Print ISBN 978-3-211-35739-2
  • Online ISBN 978-3-211-35742-2
  • Buy this book on publisher's site