Classical Geometry

Classical Geometry

An Artistic Approach

Steve Pomerantz


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Sacred geometry is at the heart of a thousand years of art and architecture as represented in mosques, temples and churches around the world. Stunning in their search of perfection amid countless symmetries the art achieves a beauty inspired by its divine motivations. On a more practical side, sacred art represents an excellent application of the principles of geometry as illustrated by Euclid in the Elements. Countless constructions and theorems first discovered by the ancient Greek mathematicians are carefully merged with craftsmanship to produce murals, paintings and mosaics of infinite variety. This book grew out of a set of workshops done primarily through the Monterey Bay Area Math Project over the last several years. The book begins with a discussion of compass-straightedge constructions of polygons and the variety of regular and semi-regular tilings. The Polygon-in-Contact method as initially documented in the Topkapi Scrolls and further developed by contemporary scholars and artists is introduced as a method of generating traditional Islamic Geometric patterns. Many examples are illustrated with varying degrees of complexity suitable for all age groups. In addition to developing traditional patterns, the methods shown illustrate areas of generalization constrained only by students imagination.