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Golden Section

36 37 Phi in PainTing further Da Vinci secrets By carefully linking the ratios and proportions of a work of art, ensuring that the parts reflect and synchronise with the whole, a painter can create an aesthetic, dynamic, living embodiment of the harmonic and symmetrical principles lying behind nature itself. Like the groundplan of the Parthenon previous page, Leonardo Da Vincis painting of The Annunciation below employs a 5 framing rectangle below. Using rabatment this is divided into one large square, and two golden rectangles which have both been further divided into a small square and a small golden rectangle. The device defines the main areas of the painting. In fact, in all the examples shown here the horizon is at the golden section of their height. It is also not uncommon for artists to frame their pictures in 32, or 53 rectangles, simple Fibonacci approximations. Salvador Dalis Sacrament of the Last Supper is a good example of the use of 53. We can clearly see the aesthetic quality rendered by the combined asymmetry and proportional symmetry of the golden section. Clockwise from top left i The Virgin of the Rocks, Leonardo Da Vinci. ii Alexander being lowered in a barrel, from The Alexander Romance after Schneider. iii The Beach, Vincent Van Gogh. iv The Birth of Venus, Sandro Botticelli v The Baptism of Jesus, Jean Colombe.
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