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Mathematical Treasure: De Divina Proportione

Frank J. Swetz (The Pennsylvania State University)

The title page of Luca Pacioli’s De Divina Proportione (1509) is shown above. 

Discussion of pentagon with marginal notes and an attempt to construct a hexagon by a previous reader

A geometric study of the proportions of the human face

The images above are provided through the courtesy of the History of Science Collections, University of Oklahoma Libraries, and the special considerations of Kerry Magruder, Curator, and Carilyn Livesey, Coordinator of the Collection. Pacioli’s Divina proportione may be viewed in its entirety at the History of Science Collections website.

  • Another "mathematical treasure" in Convergence provides additional information about Pacioli’s Divina proportione, along with two images from the copy housed at Columbia University’s Butler Library.
  • Another article in Convergence displays illustrations of the Platonic solids by Leonardo Da Vinci from a beautiful facsimile of Pacioli's manuscript version of De Divina Proportione.

Index to Mathematical Treasures

Frank J. Swetz (The Pennsylvania State University), "Mathematical Treasure: De Divina Proportione," Convergence (November 2014)