Baroquian Folds: Leibniz on Folded Fabrics and the Disruption of Geometry

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The fold in Leibniz’s philosophy - considered as an image of thought - has received considerable attention during recent decades, mainly because of the work of Gilles Deleuze. For Leibniz the fold often stands for continuous transformation and change, but it is also often mentioned together with references to folded fabrics. But did the folds of fabric prompt new conceptions of geometry in Leibniz’s thought? How does Leibniz’s account on the fall of folds stand in relation to how folded fabrics were drawn in sixteenth- and seventeenthcentury Baroque paintings? This chapter will inspect these questions in detail by examining Baroquian painting and specifically what may be termed the Baroquian fold which may be considered as almost un-mathematizable, on the one hand, and Leibniz’ thought on folding, on the other hand. I aim to show that just as the Leibnizian fold resists being reduced to constant, well-defined units, so does the Baroquian fold operate, as it prompts a disruption of geometrization of space.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of the Mathematics of the Arts and Sciences
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9783319570723
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Drapery in baroque painting
  • El Greco
  • Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz
  • Johann Paul Schor
  • Mathematization of folding
  • Samuel van Hoogstraten

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Mathematics


Dive into the research topics of 'Baroquian Folds: Leibniz on Folded Fabrics and the Disruption of Geometry'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this