**Oliver Byrne. ***The First Six Books of the Elements of Euclid.* London: William
Pickering, 1847.

Celebrated
for innovative design, this tome by obscure Irish mathematician Oliver Byrne re-imagines
Euclid’s *Elements*, the fundamental work
of geometry*. *In300
BCE, the Greek mathematician Euclid assembled the theories of such important
thinkers as Pythagoras and Hippocrates into a series of axioms to create his
original work. *Elements *became the most famous and most continuously used mathematical
textbook in history.

Euclid’s
*Elements* used letters to designate
the angles and lines of geometric figures.
Byrne presents the same lessons using shapes with vivid colors and
minimal text. Today, Byrne’s book is
often compared with distinctive works by the modern Dutch painter Mondrian,
featuring black lines with solid shapes of color.

**Link:** The University of British Columbia Mathematics
Department’s Digital Mathematics Archive.