Thursday, December 4, 2014

Puzzling polyhedron

In the intervening centuries, there has been much speculation about the meaning of the strange 3-dimensional shape in the 1514 copper engraving by German artist Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528) entitled "Melencolia I." Was it intended to represent physics? Mathematics? Religion? Mathematician Günter M Ziegler of the Freie Universität Berlin ennumerates his favorite theories and tops the list with that of American mathematician and artist George Hart, who writes, One might speculate that the cube represents masculinity and truncating one in an upright position may have some Freudian symbolism.”

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting! I love that even now, 500 years later, people are still fascinated by this piece in general and this figure in particular. I threw out my own theory on the truncated polyhedron here on my blog:


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