Piero di Cosimo- The Discovery of Vulcan on Lemnos

  • This painting depicts six nymphs tending to Vulcan, who had been hurled from Olympus.

Piero della Francesca- Brera Alterpiece

  • Here is the so-called Brera Altarpiece, painted by Piero della Francesca, showing the condottiere Federico da Montefeltro in adoration of the Virgin and Child, surrounded by saints. Piero della Francesca is famous for his writings on perspective and solid geometry, but this composition was actually governed by a simple two-dimensional geometrical scheme whose logic would have been familiar to any compass-wielding Gothic architect or early medieval craftsman. To see this, start by considering a few details of the painting. First, its sides have been slightly trimmed, and the elbows of John the Baptist at left, and of Andrew at right, thus appear slightly truncated. Second, these two saints hold their attributes in ways that serve as geometrical markers, which is particularly conspicuous in the case of the Baptist’s staff. Both the staff and Andrew’s book are aligned at 22.5 degrees from the vertical.

Piero di Cosimo- Catherine

  • Here is Piero di Cosimo’s depiction of the Virgin and Child adored by saints including Elizabeth of Hungary, at left, and Catherine, at right.

Gauguin- “D’où Venons Nous?”

  • Here is Gauguin’s "D'où Venons Nous?”. A geometrical analysis will show the origins of the composition and the underlying structure.

Carpaccio- Saint George and the Dragon

  • Here is Carpaccio’s painting of Saint George and the Dragon.

Limbourg Brothers- Tres Riches Heures of Jean de Berry

  • Here is Charles Bouleau’s analysis of a miniature from the Tres Riches Heures of Jean de Berry, made by the Limbourg Brothers early in the fifteenth century.

Piero di Cosimo- The Visitation

  • Here is the Visitation scene painted by Piero di Cosimo.

Mondrian- Broadway Boogie-Woogie

  • Here is the Broadway Boogie-Woogie by Piet Mondrian.


  • Here is an anonymous Italian Renaissance painting of an ideal city painting now preserved at the Walters Gallery in Baltimore. Its width is considerably greater than its height.