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The Golden Section

Raphael

In my last post, I mentioned the Golden section without inserting a link.  So, here go.

Students of art and architecture learn about the Greek Golden section. When it is first mentioned, they are intrigued. Have rules been applied to art?  At which point they start seeing the Golden section everywhere.

To the left is a detail from Raphael’s painting of Pythagoras’ “School of Athens” illustrating the Golden section. And the site to which I have linked us provides several other examples.

Most simply expressed a painting or building constructed in the shape of an off-centre crucifix (positioned vertically or horizontally, less the suffering body), utilizes the proportions of the Golden section.

There is nothing wrong with symmetry, the grounds and palace of Versailles being a good example of successful symmetry  Yet, it was very clever of Pythagoras to map out a work of art or architecture according to the Golden section. It does enhance “beauty.”

Perspective: The Vanishing Point

The painting above is a fresco (a wall painting) from which the above detail has been taken.  It illustrates the point de fuite (the vanishing point).  Renaissance artists learned to give depth to their works by creating a vanishing point.  The idea of perspective had entered the world of art.  Yet, in Raphael’s “School of Athens,” our Golden section is also used.  The arches are smaller at the back, conveying the impression of depth, but Raphael’s design also shows the ratio of the Golden Section.  Look carefully.

I leave you at this point, so I can finish a short blog on chiaroscuro.

Renaissance Musical Instruments: Keyboard Instruments / Ricercare Music

(please click on Renaissance to hear the music)
 
© Micheline Walker
19 April 2012
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