5 facts about Esprit Jouffret

By Gwylym Owen

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Esprit Jouffret (15 March 1837 – 6 November 1904) was a French artillery officer, insurance actuary and mathematician, author of Traité élémentaire de géométrie à quatre dimensions (Elementary Treatise upon the Geometry of Four Dimensions, 1903), a popularization of Henri Poincaré’s Science and Hypothesis in which Jouffret described hypercubes and other highbrow polyhedra in four dimensions and projected them onto the two-dimensional page.

Maurice Princet brought Traite to artiste Pablo Picasso’s attention. Picasso’s sketchbooks for his 1907 painting Les Demoiselles d’Avignon illustrate Jouffret’s influence on the artist’s work.

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