Math in Art?

Was VanGogh a genius of math as well as light?

While our version is entertaining, if you happen to find yourself in Mid-Town Manhattan please make your way to MOMA to see the original. Van Gogh’s works are inspirational any way that you can see them, but in person you will be transported. His heavy handed layering of color and texture leaves you feeling as though you could have watched him paint it in person.

One of the most recognizable paintings of our time is also one of the very most popular paintings at Canvas and Cabernet and it’s no wonder. It appeals to the wannabe art aficionado in all of us… that “Hey, I know that painting and its artist!” feeling can be fleeting when walking through a gallery, but when it strikes, suddenly, we have a moment of sentiment and maybe even a touch of confidence. But it also speaks to a deeper place in us, that place that art often strikes – the subconscious.

While doing some research for another project I found this really intriguing TedEd video about the math of turbulent flow and how Van Gogh’s work of this period was laced with these eddys of light that, in their magical way, communicate turbulence. He was suffering a major mental health break down, but was able to communicate his feelings through his art.

Insert TedEd video here


The dancing of the lighter colors contrasted against the blue gives the idea of movement – in physics this movement is called turbulence. I’m thinking that he was really communicating his deep seated feelings of turbulence and they happen to be mathematically correct. Being a homeschooling Mama, I of course had to share this with my math loving artist.