So I've begun taking some fundamental art history/discussion classes in college this summer, and one thing that has struck my interest has been the golden mean / golden ratio. We touched very lightly on the subject (where it came from, and examples of its use), but I've been unable to really draw any further information out of my instructors or our tests on the details of its application in art.
Are there any good source material anyone knows about discussing its use in art? How it is figured in terms of an image's composition (like in The Creation of Adam)? How, if you wanted to experiment around, you might best employ the ideas surrounding the golden mean and proportions? Moreover, I'm just interested in the details of its application, how artists use it, etc.
I'm watching those youtube Barnstone videos right now, really great stuff. I'm at the "what is art?" video, and that gives some really good info in just 10 minutes, very clear diagrams, and what he says about subliminally communicating to the audience is really important. He gets right down to business. Good find.
This person does a good job debunking some of the claims a lot of writings make, about painters and the reason of the existence of a Golden ratio. I highly recommend reading this.
The point he makes is that the golden ratio does indeed exist, but only for a functional reason, not for aesthetic reason, it's nature's way to be efficient. Although some people now claim that that in itself is also untrue, that nature does not use golden ratios per-se (many sea-shells deviate from the Golden ratio). So the only reason for it existence that you can be sure off atm, is a mathematical one.
Quickest way to ruin art for me is to present it as a branch of maths! I don't believe a word of it, when Barnstone makes out that Rubens worked out all these squares and grids and proportions to draw his wife's face. If the points match up it's just one of those things that make up the mysteries of the universe. Beyond basic guidelines to ensure symmetry, I don't think any of this complex geometry applies in the drawing of a portrait.
Last edited by dashinvaine; October 16th, 2009 at 12:22 PM.