Ars magna

Raimundus Lullus (circa 1230-1315) became famous through his teaching, which was referred to by his followers as the «Great Art» or «Ars magna». As with God and His qualities in theology, or the soul and its characteristics in psychology, Lullus had arrived at the conclusion that, in each scientific field, there are a few fundamental terms and principles which can be accepted without further explanation or additional enquiry. The connections between Lullus’ art and colours is clear. Their abundance can be derived from systems which combine the basic colours thus determined: the geometry of combinations in other words. Possible links between the network nodes of four systems are shown: the Italian Giordano Bruno (1548 – 1600) in his work De lampade combinatoria lulliana, Guillaume Postel (1510 – 1581) in his Livre de la formation with his «231 doorways», Athanasius Kircher (1602 – 1680) with his table of alchemic combinations, and the great Leibniz with the Ars combinatoria which he presented in 1666. (Detailed text)

Date: 16th and 17th century

Related systems: Grosseteste, Alberti, da VinciKircher

Bibliography: G. Postel, «Livre de la formation», circa 1560; G. Bruno, «De lampade combinatoria lulliana», 1587; G. W. Leibniz, «Ars combinatoria», 1666; A. Kircher, «Ars magna sciendi», Amsterdam 1669.