Pythagoras and Renaissance Europe

Pythagoras and Renaissance Europe : Finding Heaven

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Christiane L. Joost-Gaugier offers the first systematic study of Pythagoras and his influence on mathematics, astronomy, philosophy, religion, medicine, music, the occult, and social life - as well as on architecture and art - in the late medieval and early modern eras. Following the threads of admiration for this ancient Greek sage from the fourteenth century to Kepler and Galileo in the seventeenth, this book demonstrates that Pythagoras's influence in intellectual circles - Christian, Jewish, and Arab - was more widespread than has previously been acknowledged. Joost-Gaugier shows how this admiration was reflected in ideas that were applied to the visual arts by a number of well known architects and artists who sought, through the use of a visual language inspired by the memory of Pythagoras, to obtain perfect harmony in their creations. Among these were Alberti, Bramante, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael.show more

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About Christiane L. Joost-Gaugier

Christiane L. Joost-Gaugier is an internationally known and distinguished scholar. A three-times graduate of Harvard, she has published extensively in research journals, conference proceedings, and international catalogues on subjects ranging from classical literature to medieval architecture to Renaissance art and intellectual history. A recipient of grants from the American Council of Learned Societies, the American Philosophical Society, and the National Endowment for the Humanities among others, she is the author of Jacopo Bellini: Selected Drawings, Raphael's Stanza della Segnatura: Meaning and Invention, and Measuring Heaven: Pythagoras and His Influence on Thought and Art in Antiquity and the Middle Ages.show more

Table of contents

Part I. Pythagoras, Man for the Renaissance: 1. Prologue: the diffusion of knowledge about Pythagoras in the Renaissance; 2. The emergence of 'Saint' Pythagoras in the early Renaissance; 3. The apotheosis of Pythagoras in the sixteenth century; Part II. The Many Faces of Renaissance Pythagoreanism: 4. The Pythagorean tradition in the early fifteenth century; 5. The strengthening and deepening of Pythgoreanism in the later fifteenth century; 6. The maturation and vicissitudes of Pythagoreanism in the sixteenth century; Part III. Pythagoreanism in Architecture and Art: 7. Renaissance images of Pythagoras; 8. The search for harmony in architecture and art of the fifteenth century; 9. Finding harmony: form and meaning in architecture and art of the sixteenth century; 10. Conclusions: the prince of Italian philosophy and the birth of harmony as an aesthetic notion.show more

Review quote

'... a beautiful job. Exceedingly well-written and entertaining, as well as informative. I don't know of anyone who has ... come up with such a complete and rounded set of materials on Pythagoras. It was a brilliant idea, and [the] text is intelligent, learned and brilliant.' George L. Hersey, Yale University '... an impressive annotated bibliography of Renaissance Pythagoreanism, with a good index, very suitable for canvassing this broad and confusing field quickly and easily.' The Mathematical Intelligencer 'The broad scholarship in this study commands respect, and the author's comprehensive approach to Renaissance thought and art deserves admiration.' Sixteenth Century Journal '... wide-ranging, well-written study ...' Renaissance Quarterlyshow more

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