In a lecture of 1853, the architect and architectural theorist Gottfried Semper (1803-1879) explained a work of art as a mathematical function. The lecture was published for the first time in 1884 and the equation for the work of art was presented there as Y = F(x, y, z, etc.). Since then, several widely differing manuscripts, translations, and interpretations have appeared. The following essay describes Semper's equation, the variations and explanations he gave in his writings, and the interpretations by others that have followed up to the present. It discusses Semper's attempts to connect architecture with infinitesimal calculus, his mathematical background, and his desire to give architecture a scientific foundation through methods of systematic comparison and classification.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Visual Arts and Performing Arts