The polyhedra in “De divina proportione” by Pacioli

Luca Pacioli (Borgo Sansepolcro, 1445 ca. – Rome, 1517) was a Franciscan friar, best remembered as a mathematician and close friend of Leonardo da Vinci. Leonardo’s prototypes indeed seem related to the polyhedra that Pacioli drew for the “De divina proportione”, the book he wrote, in vernacular Italian, about the applications of the golden ratio, and which he published in Venice in 1497, as a gift to Ludovico il Moro, Duke of Milan.

A Renaissance man, curious about everything: geometry, arithmetic, architecture, astrology, music… Pacioli was also impressed by humanistic Platonism, with its mystical and magical elements.

He was a man of many faces, just like the polyhedra in his “De divina proportione”.

December 15, 2013