Title: Fractal analysis of tree paintings by Piet Mondrian (1872-1944)


Author: Tassos Bountis; Athanassios S. Fokas; Emmanouil Z. Psarakis


Department of Mathematics and Center for Research and Application of Nonlinear Systems, University of Patras, 26500 Greece
Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, Cambridge University, Cambridge, CB3 0WA, UK; Research Center of Mathematics, Academy of Athens, 11527, Greece
Department of Computer Engineering and Informatics, University of Patras, 26504, Greece


Journal: Int. J. of Arts and Technology, 2017 Vol.10, No.1, pp.27 - 42


Abstract: We examine two paintings by Piet Mondrian, and suggest that his depiction of tree foliages exhibit fractal patterns of a specific dimension. Our analysis implies that fractality may possess an aesthetic value that affected Mondrian, perhaps in a similar way as it inspired Jackson Pollock, another famous painter who incorporated fractality in several of his paintings. In recent years there has been a stimulating debate among scientists arguing for and against the thesis that Jackson Pollock's drip paintings when analysed at small scales can be described by the mathematics of fractal geometry. Our suggestion that fractal patterns exist in the paintings of a second famous artist - in this case Piet Mondrian - further supports the hypothesis that the beauty which exists in fractality may affect consciously or subconsciously such great painters as Jackson Pollock and Piet Mondrian.


Keywords: fractals; fractal dimension; tree paintings; Piet Mondrian; scaling laws.


DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1504/IJART.2017.10004725


Available online 21 Apr 2017



Editors Full Text AccessAccess for SubscribersPurchase this articleComment on this article