Numerology in Art and Literature The ancient practice of ascribing mystical significance to numbers, has played a fascinating and often enigmatic role in art, literature, and creative expressions throughout history.
From famous paintings and classic literature to contemporary films and poetry, numerology has left its indelible mark on the world of creativity.
Let’s investigate how numerology has influenced art, literature, and creative works, offering a deeper understanding of the hidden meanings and symbolism behind these masterpieces.
The Influence of Numerology in Art
Numerology’s impact on the world of visual art is far-reaching, often contributing to the rich symbolism and hidden layers of meaning within famous paintings. Here are some notable examples:
- The Last Supper (Leonardo da Vinci): One of the most iconic paintings in art history, Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper,” is known for its use of numerology. The painting features 12 apostles surrounding Jesus, resulting in the number 13. In numerology, 13 is often considered an unlucky number, representing upheaval and transformation. This interpretation adds a layer of mystery and foreboding to the painting, foreshadowing the events to come.
- Starry Night (Vincent van Gogh): Vincent van Gogh’s “Starry Night” is another famous artwork that incorporates numerology. The swirling patterns in the night sky are believed to be influenced by the artist’s fascination with the number 12. In numerology, 12 is associated with completeness and order, mirroring the sense of cosmic harmony that van Gogh sought to capture in his painting.
- The Persistence of Memory (Salvador Dalí): Surrealist artist Salvador Dalí incorporated numerology into many of his works. In “The Persistence of Memory,” the melting clocks are said to symbolize the fluidity of time and the malleable nature of reality, themes often associated with numerology’s interpretations of numbers like 9 (completion) and 4 (stability).
- Composition VII (Wassily Kandinsky): Wassily Kandinsky, a pioneer of abstract art, was deeply influenced by numerology. In his painting “Composition VII,” he uses a complex arrangement of geometric shapes and colors, which some art historians interpret as a visual representation of numerological principles. The number 7, often associated with mysticism and intuition, is thought to play a significant role in the composition’s symbolism.
Numerology in Literature
Numerology has also left its mark on the world of literature, with authors incorporating numeric symbolism and meaning into their works. Here are a few examples:
- The Divine Comedy (Dante Alighieri): Dante’s epic poem, “The Divine Comedy,” is a prime example of numerology in literature. The poem consists of three parts: Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso, each representing one of the three realms of the afterlife. This trilogy structure aligns with numerology’s interpretation of the number 3 as representing completeness and wholeness.
- Moby-Dick (Herman Melville): In “Moby-Dick,” Herman Melville uses numerology to infuse deeper meaning into the character of Captain Ahab. Ahab’s obsession with the white whale is seen by some literary scholars as a representation of numerology’s interpretation of the number 7, associated with introspection, spiritual insight, and the pursuit of hidden truths.
- The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown): Dan Brown’s bestselling novel “The Da Vinci Code” weaves numerology throughout its intricate plot. The Fibonacci sequence, a mathematical series with deep numerological significance, plays a central role in deciphering hidden codes and secrets in the story.
Numerology in Film and Cinema
Numerology’s influence extends into the world of cinema, where directors and filmmakers often incorporate numeric symbolism into their storytelling:
- Se7en (David Fincher): The film “Se7en,” directed by David Fincher, revolves around the seven deadly sins, each of which is represented by a gruesome murder. The number 7, associated with spiritual insight and introspection, serves as a central theme in the movie’s dark and psychological narrative.
- The Number 23 (Joel Schumacher): In “The Number 23,” Jim Carrey’s character becomes obsessed with the number 23, believing it holds a dark secret about his life. The film explores the concept of numerology and its potential influence on one’s destiny.
- Pi (Darren Aronofsky): “Pi,” directed by Darren Aronofsky, delves into the world of mathematics and numerology. The protagonist, a brilliant mathematician, becomes obsessed with discovering patterns and secrets hidden within the digits of pi, revealing the allure and mystique of numbers.
Numerology in Poetry
Numerology’s influence is also found in the realm of poetry, where poets use numbers and their symbolism to craft verses that resonate with deeper meaning:
- William Blake: The English poet and artist William Blake incorporated numerology into his poems, such as “The Tyger” and “The Lamb.” These poems explore themes of duality and innocence, often using numerology to reinforce their messages.
- W. B. Yeats: Irish poet W. B. Yeats frequently employed numerology in his works. In “The Second Coming,” he references the number 20, a numerological symbol of transformation and upheaval, to convey a sense of foreboding and change.
Numerology’s impact on art, literature, and creative works is a testament to the enduring fascination humans have with numbers and their hidden meanings.
Whether it’s the mystical symbolism embedded in famous paintings, the numerical patterns woven into classic literature, or the cinematic exploration of numeric obsessions, numerology continues to enrich and deepen our understanding of the creative and symbolic aspects of our world.
While numerology’s interpretations may vary and remain a subject of debate, its presence in art and literature serves as a reminder of the profound ways in which numbers can influence our perception, imagination, and interpretation of the human experience.
Numerology’s enduring legacy in creative works invites us to explore the profound connections between numbers, symbolism, and the boundless realms of human creativity and expression.
Julianne has a bachelor’s in communication and journalism working with Psychic Spirituality & Relationships. She has also practiced numerology, tarot, and other psychic arts.