Gerr S, 1982, "A possible analogy between contours in mathematics -- as exemplified by Cauchy's integral formula -- and contours in the arts" Perception 11(4) 483 – 490
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A possible analogy between contours in mathematics -- as exemplified by Cauchy's integral formula -- and contours in the arts
Received 1 April 1981, in revised form 30 December 1981
Abstract. An attempt is made to draw an analogy between contour drawing and a particular mathematical theorem. The analogy is seen to depend on the fact that both methods use definite values along a contour to imply a totality of values within the contour; thus, the use of a part to suggest the whole, by way of a hypothetical 'gestalt-like integration' in the case of the art contour, and the usual process of mathematical integration in the case of Cauchy's formula. Examples illustrating the analogy are drawn from a wide range of artistic work: a modern American drawing, a Cro-Magnon cave painting, and two Chinese works. The traditional Chinese philosophy of painting is invoked in support of the analogy because of its explicit emphasis on the primacy of outline drawing in Chinese painting. Some speculations are offered on further development and application of the analogy.
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