MIRTA'S BLOG Thoughts, words, and doodles by Mirta Rotondo


Jay Hambidge: Illustrator, writer, mathematician


Edward John (Jay) Hambidge (1867–1924) was a Canadian born American artist, writer, and mathematician. He is best known for his chef-d’oeuvre The Elements of Dynamic Symmetry: a book published 2 years after his death (in 1926). The book is based on a series of arithmetical studies and geometrical designs. The ideas that Hambidge collected in his book -which had been strongly influenced by the...

Celestial Hagia Sophia inspires Video Games


The basilica of Hagia Sophia (from the Greek “Holy Wisdom”) in Istanbul (ex Constantinople, capital of the Eastern Roman Empire) is the epitome of “the celestial in architecture.” The basilica was designed in 537 AD over a preexisting building by the scientist Isidore of Miletus and the mathematician Anthemius of Tralles, in obedience to Emperor Justinian’s will. The first structure -Emperor...

Gaudi inspired by Byzantine art?


The mosaic from the entrance wall of the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia in Ravenna (Italy, ca. 425), represents Christ as a Good Shepherd. The figure of Christ, which is placed in the middle of the mosaic, is seated on a rock and leans against a golden cross. He’s beardless and wearing a golden and blue tunic: a symbol of his sacredness and regality. The glowing nimbus, according to Christianity...

Feminine manliness: the Snake Goddess seduces the world


Elegant and attractive, the so-called “Snake Goddess” shows her femininity through features which are generally conferred within the domain of men: power and virility. The 131/2 inches tall symmetric faïence figurine, dated 1600 BCE, was found (fragmented) in 1903 by the British archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans on the site of the of Knossos’ palace, in the Temple Repositories (Aegean...

Venus of Willendorf: the brazen Venus


It’s called Venus of Willendorf and it’s a 30.000 years old lady. The four inches tall woman is a fine porous oolitic limestone statuette found about 30 meters above the Danube river (Austria) in 1908. Due to her age and her prominent female features she became the main symbol of the Paleolithic art, obtaining a strong charming identity. The red ochre colored statuette consist of a portly...

The Golden Ratio: in harmony with the Universe


Different cultural and religious belief lead to different interpretations of the Golden Section over the course of history. Let’s analyze some of them: The Golden Section as “Universal Harmonic Ratio“ 5th century b.C. The mathematical concept of proportion, meant as the relation of parts, has first been introduced by Pitagora (Pythagoras of Samos, a great mathematician, mystic...

Introduction to the Golden Section: the never-ending mistery


Ancient populations (far apart in distance and time) are linked one to another by a mistery, upon which archaeologists, astronomers, mathematicians, artists, psychologists, historians etc. are still working: the Golden Section. The Golden Section, also called Golden Ratio, is usually defined as it follows: “two quantities are in the golden ratio if the ratio between the sum of those...

MIRTA'S BLOG Thoughts, words, and doodles by Mirta Rotondo


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