Humans have known for centuries that art and math go hand in hand. Neither can exist without the other. Without art, math would be extremely difficult, if not impossible. Without art there would be no graphs, reference pictures, or shapes. There would be no way to build complex buildings, since blueprints could not exist without art. Without math, there would be no art. There would be no perspective, depth, proportion or vanishing points. Each are important parts of art composition. Art is a visual representation of numbers and math is a numerical representation of art.

Proportion is the size of something in a piece of art in relation to the whole piece. Depth is the use of layers to create an illusion that the painting goes on beyond what we see. A vanishing point is where invisible lines meet on the horizon of a painting. The golden ratio or golden rule is a mathematical tool used by artists for centuries. Georg Cantor, German mathematician and Vincent van Gogh, Dutch painter, are two completely different men but together they create a living representation of the golden ratio, a perfect blend of math and art.

Vincent Van Gogh:

Vincent Van Gogh was a post impressionist painter from the Netherlands. His paintings are unique for his thick and quick style. He was constantly ridiculed and not taken seriously as an artist (or person) until after his death.

“What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?” ~Vincent Van Gogh

George Cantor:

George Cantor worked with Transfinite numbers and developed set theory. His work was often viewed as inferior, and constantly criticized. Only when he died was his work seen as valuable as it is.

“A set is a Many that allows itself to be thought of as a One” ~George Cantor

Something to Think About:

In tenth grade I ran an Art Club, my math teacher was the sponsor. He would always put in his mathematical input on projects and explain how math contributed to art. He taught me that art and math are important to each other. This comparison between Georg Cantor and Van Gogh just reinforced that for me. My analysis on Cantor and Van Gogh may show others, as it showed me, that everything and everyone is connected in some way and everybody has something to contribute.