MS#93. The Geometry of Angels, 1997
- In: Bolt from the Blue, 2011, ch.4, pp. 65-78.
- Subjects: Art history
- Written: November 24, 1997
- Abstract: We analyze the mathematical vision behind
the wings of the angel Gabriel, in a Renaissaance painting,
the Cortona Annunciation of Fra Angelico.
In the context of the Renaisance mathematics of perspective and conic sections,
the flapping wings generate a family of toroids.
We interpret this image as a painterly representation
of the three-sphere of Dante.
As such, this geometrical vision of Fra Angelico
presaged seminal works of modern mathematics,
such as the Hopf fibration.
- [PDF], 10 pages, 4.8 MB
by Ralph Abraham