Where breadth becomes depth

OK, who is this?

At the centre of his lifelong search was his dream of uncovering a small number of underlying principles and patterns that would explain all of nature. His notebooks are crammed with pictures and speculations about the nature of vortexes, heart valves, cloud shapes; the designs of leaves, human veins, bones and levers; about how character is expressed in the shape of faces. Everywhere, he is looking for correspondences. Are flowing human locks like rivulets of water? Are human arms like birds’ wings? Are there perfect proportions for the human body, and do they relate to the proportions of horses’ legs and muscles? What are the symmetries in plant forms, and what are the rules that guide them? In [his] world there is not yet a clear divide between ‘science’ and ‘art’. They are the same thing. The artist coldly analyses form, perspective and the effect of distance on colours, which will give his pictures their impact. The artist uses lenses, learns how to cast metals, and works on his equations so he knows how to support the dome of a new church.

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