Rhombicuboctahedron 1

Leonardo's rhombicuboctahedron

Leonardo's drawing of a rhombicuboctahedronDuring the Renaissance, one of the most famous geometers was Luca Pacioli. He explored many of the polyhedron shapes and published the book De Divina Proportione, which explores the topic of the golden mean.

Although scholars believe he plagarized some of the material from another unpublished manuscript by Piero della Francesca, his book is undeniably beautiful. It is gorgeously handwritten with colorfully drawn drop caps, and contains a true treasure, a series of drawings of various polyhedra by Pacioli's friend, Leonardo da Vinci.

The original book was created in 1509. The reproduction above of the first printed drawing of a rhombicuboctahedron is from a lovely facsimile of the book published in 1982 by Biblioteca Ambrosiana. The facsimile itself is relatively rare; I was fortunate to find a copy through Libro Co. Italia in Firenze, Italy.

Quick links to the dens in this rabbit hole:

  1. Leonardo's rhombicuboctahedron
  2. It's all a matter of perspective
  3. Pacioli hangs it up
  4. The Zometool
  5. The octagon
  6. LuminAria – 3-fold symmetry


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