I've posted before on the mathematics of the arts, specifically music and literature (here, here, here, and especially here). This view of great art is that it resides in an optimum state of complexity, at the right place between perfect order and perfect disorder.
Here's a new article on that subject, by Lance Hosely writing in the New York Times. My favorite paragraph from the essay is this:
Certain patterns also have universal appeal. Natural fractals — irregular, self-similar geometry — occur virtually everywhere in nature: in coastlines and riverways, in snowflakes and leaf veins, even in our own lungs. In recent years, physicists have found that people invariably prefer a certain mathematical density of fractals — not too thick, not too sparse. The theory is that this particular pattern echoes the shapes of trees, specifically the acacia, on the African savanna, the place stored in our genetic memory from the cradle of the human race. To paraphrase one biologist, beauty is in the genes of the beholder — home is where the genome is.
Note: The acacia plays a significant role in the ritual of Freemasonry, and a sprig of acacia is sometimes placed in or on a Mason's casket.
(Thanks to Orion Jones at Big Think for the link.The image is from Wikimedia Commons.)