Thursday, March 02, 2006

God, the Fractal Geometer

Last night, PBS played Arthur C. Clark's "Colours of Infinity" about the mind-bending field of fractal geometry. Even though it was made in 1995, the show was still pretty amazing. (Here's my previous post about the fractal nature of the reality we experience.) As I was watching, I remembered this 13th century illustration showing "God the Geometer." (link)

To me, the most interesting thing about this image is how the universe contained in the sphere that God is creating has an uncanny resemblance to the Mandlebrot Set, the most famous fractal formula & image. Check out the picture of the Mandlebrot fractal & compare. Of course, the painter could not have known what a 'fractal' even was, but to see the universe portrayed by this medieval artist as an irregular fractal-like form that so closely resembles the M-set is one of those things that makes you wonder about creativity and the insight of the human mind.


Sophia said...

Go Mandlebrot! Thanks to him we have this terrific relatively new artform. If you get a chance, go check out my fractal art at

I use Ultra Fractal 4 to make my fractals. I'm heavily addicted to them. I am also interested in fractal music and hope someday to get started making my own.

A.V. Michaels said...

Enjoy your blog...I love fractals too, I put on on my blog way in the beginning; I definitely see them as an expression of God, or the Tao, in some way...I believe they are a way to opening our minds to a new way of perceiving our reality...