Symmetry: Culture and Science
Volume 29, Number 2, pages 302-306 (2018)


Ruslan Kostov

Makovicky, Emil: Symmetry, Through the Eyes of Old Masters, Berlin/Boston: Walter de Gruyter GmbH, 2016, pp. xix+240, hard cover, EUR 149.95, USD 210.00, GBP 135.99; ISBN 978-3-11-041705-0.

Emil Makovicky, Professor of the Institute for Geoscience and Natural Resource Management (University of Copenhagen, Denmark) is an outstanding crystallographer and mineralogist, who has devoted a major part of his scientific career to the study of the class of sulfide minerals, including sulfosalts. He is author of more than 240 papers in different peer-reviewed journals. He has received many academic honours including the 2017 Medal of Excellence in Mineralogical Sciences of the International Mineralogical Association.

Since the 70s of the last century he has published a number of scientific papers on different aspects of symmetry in historical ornaments – an interdisciplinary scientific field which he denotes as crystallography of culture. The new book, Symmetry is a comprehensive overview and contemporary crystallographic analysis of symmetry patterns illustrated mainly by examples of Medieval Islamic art in Europe (Spain; Alhambra), Asia (several countries with impact on Iran) and Africa (Morocco; Fez). Examples of ornamentation from some other countries and cultures are also taken into account (European cathedrals and Art Nouveau, native American and East Asian works of art)...