Hits, Misses and Close Calls: An Image Essay on Pattern Formation in “On Growth and Form”
The preprint of an article published in Interdisciplinary Science Reviews 38.1, 74 (2013).
PATTERNS IN ART AND NATURE – Philip Ball Notes for a talk delivered at Dulwich Picture Gallery, May 2003
This talk is accompanied by a Powerpoint presentation
Fingal’s Cave on the island of Staffa, near Mull in Scotland, has inspired artists (this is Turner) and composers – Felix Mendelsohn wrote his orchestral piece named after the cave in 1829. But it also made an impression on an awestruck Joseph Banks, president of the Royal Society, when he sailed to Staffa in 1772 during an expedition to Iceland. This is what he said:
Banks had noticed that the entrance to the cave was flanked by these great pillars of rock. Close up, you can see the regularity that Banks spoke about: hexagonal cross-sections. …