Math in the Media

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Mathematical Digest

Short Summaries of Articles about Mathematics
in the Popular Press

"Divine proportion and the Holy Grail," by Martin Kemp. Nature, 25 March 2004.

The author concedes that it is probable Leonardo DaVinci knew the work ofFibonacci and "was certainly aware of the divine proportion (or goldensection)," but Kemp claims that no evidence reveals that Renaissance andBaroque artists "used constructional methods based upon the 'secret' divisionof their surfaces." He says that such attributions---that artists usedmathematical secrets---with hindsight make for a good story but are notcredible to serious art historians.

--- Annette Emerson