ArtLex Art Dictionary

 

 

 

GGolden Mean or Golden Section, golden mean or golden section - A proportional relation (ratio) obtained by dividing a line so that the shorter part is to the longer part as the longer part is to the whole. Another way to describe this: a proportion between the two dimensions of a plane figure or the two divisions of a line, in which the ratio of the smaller to the larger is the same as the ratio of the larger to the whole: a ratio of approximately 0.618 to 1.0

The Golden Mean produces a harmonic effect called eurythmy found in nature as well as in a wide variety of works of art and design. Artists of various periods and cultures have found that dimensions determined by this formula are aesthetically appealing.

chambered nautilus

 

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see thumbnail to rightThe Parthenon, Athens, superimposed with a diagram demonstrating the use of the Golden Mean in the Parthenon's design. See architecture and Greek art.

 

 

 

 

 

see thumbnail to leftArchitect Charles E. Jeanneret, known as "Le Corbusier" (French, 1887-1965), often used golden rectangles in his designs for buildings. One of these is the United Nations building in New York. The proportions of its vertical and horizontal dimensions correspond to the Golden Mean. Distinctive marks dividing this face do so as well. See architect.

 

 

 

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Also see aspect ratio, composition, Fibonacci Sequence, helix, mathematics and art, measurement, spiral, and volute.

 

 

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