Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History



  • Aritmetica (Arithmetic): Signature a4
    Author: Filippo Calandri
    Florence: Lorenzo Morgiani & Johannes Petri, January 1, 1491/92
    Book with printed text and woodcut illustrations; 5 5/16 x 4 5/16 x 13/16 in. (13.5 x 11 x 2 cm)
    Rogers Fund, 1919 (19.24)

    This charming book was one of the first illustrated textbooks. The low price of such a text would have made it available to far more students than earlier teaching materials, which had been written by hand on vellum. The small size and the many diagrams made it easier to use, while the pictures must have made math much more bearable to small boys. The woodcuts, which range from ornamental classicizing borders framing multiplication tables to lively depictions of people and animals that illustrate word problems, are exquisite examples of the flowering of Florentine woodcut illustration in the 1490s.

    On this page, we see a series of hand gestures that signify numbers.

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  • Aritmetica (Arithmetic): Signature a4
    Author: Filippo Calandri
    Florence: Lorenzo Morgiani & Johannes Petri, January 1, 1491/92
    Book with printed text and woodcut illustrations; 5 5/16 x 4 5/16 x 13/16 in. (13.5 x 11 x 2 cm)
    Rogers Fund, 1919 (19.24)

    Aritmetica (Arithmetic): Signature L3
    Author: Filippo Calandri
    Florence: Lorenzo Morgiani & Johannes Petri, January 1, 1491/92
    Book with printed text and woodcut illustrations

    5 5/16 x 4 5/16 x 13/16 in. (13.5 x 11 x 2 cm)
    Rogers Fund, 1919 (19.24)

    This complicated problem involves a serpent at the foot of a tower, who ascends one-third of a braccia (a unit of measurement equivalent to an arm's length) each day and then descends one-quarter of a braccia each night. Another serpent at the top of the tower descends one-fifth of a braccia every day and at night climbs up one-sixth of a braccia. The student must determine where and when the two serpents will meet.

    Aritmetica (Arithmetic): Signature L3v
    Author: Filippo Calandri
    Florence: Lorenzo Morgiani & Johannes Petri, January 1, 1491/92
    Book with printed text and woodcut illustrations

    5 5/16 x 4 5/16 x 13/16 in. (13.5 x 11 x 2 cm)
    Rogers Fund, 1919 (19.24)

    If a lion can eat a lamb in one day, a leopard requires two days, and a wolf three, how quickly will the lamb be devoured if eaten by all three animals at once? Another problem on this page has to do with the distance covered by certain ants.

    Aritmetica (Arithmetic): Signature o4v
    Author: Filippo Calandri
    Florence: Lorenzo Morgiani & Johannes Petri, January 1, 1491/92
    Book with printed text and woodcut illustrations

    5 5/16 x 4 5/16 x 13/16 in. (13.5 x 11 x 2 cm)
    Rogers Fund, 1919 (19.24)

    Two word problems involving wine-making suggest some of the practical applications of mathematical skills. In his dedicatory letter to Giuliano de' Medici, Calandri had stressed the importance of math to Florentine commerce and trade.


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