You are here

Mathematical Treasure: Geometria by Hans Sebald Beham

Frank J. Swetz (The Pennsylvania State University)

Hans Sebald Beham (ca 1500–1550) was a German engraver who was known for his tiny, intricate prints. He worked in Nuremberg and, later, in Frankfurt. Art historians have classified him among the “Little Masters” for the intricacy of his prints. This engraving is part of a series depicting the seven liberal arts: arithmetic, astrology, dialectic, geometry, grammar, music, and rhetoric. Usually, the muses representing these arts were obviously female. Note the various measuring instruments, including a square and compasses, surrounding the figure.

16th-century depiction of the liberal art of geometry by Hans Sebald Beham.

This image is available courtesy of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.

Index to Mathematical Treasures

Frank J. Swetz (The Pennsylvania State University), "Mathematical Treasure: Geometria by Hans Sebald Beham," Convergence (April 2021)