What Is Beauty?

Tuesday, August 4th, 2015

Beauty is a cross culturally majority shared ideal amongst humanity. The human eye is conditioned to react to healthy natural forms such as trees, plants, fruit and flowers. When humans input these images they cause a reaction within the brain to create an idea of balance. What humans consider to be beautiful is basically a biological factor created by instinct. Notions on facial beauty come from fertility hormones, the more mathematically symmetrical a person is the more appealing they are to the eye. The human notion of what is aesthetically pleasing is also biological.


The Fibonacci Sequence
Fibonacci studied forms and patterns that were created by nature. He discovered that nature has a sequential method to how it grows and creates.
The Fibonacci Sequence:
0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8 ………
The sequence begins with zero and one. The last two previous numbers are then added together to continue the sequence.

This sequence occurs in nature in the number of leaves of a stem, branches coming from a tree, parts of pineapple. The Fibonacci sequence can be expressed visually.

Jeff Cronenweth


Many examples of these sequences grow and develop within the boundaries of the golden ratio.


Golden Section


The Golden Section
Golden Section Ratio


The Golden Section is a mathematical relationship between the sides of a rectangle which allow for aesthetic positioning of elements. It was first defined by the Greek mathematicians Pythagoras and Euclid. The formula represents the relationship of geometry within regular pentagrams and pentacles. It can be found in the architecture of Greek statues and is represented by the Greek letter Phi.
The above diagram shows two lines divided at unique points where the ratio of the whole of line (A) to the large section (B) is the same as the ratio of the large section (B) to the small section (C) but 1.618 times smaller. The division of (A) from (B) is placed in such a way that the ratio of (A) is equal to the ratio of the below line (B+C).


The Golden Section
16:9 = 1:1.7



The Golden Section used in Greek architecture.
The difference between the Golden Section and the rule of thirds is that it shows a spatial relationship within the composition. It represents the harmonious relationship between the relative sizes within the image.
Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man showing the human bodies proportion.


Zaidel et al (2004) suggested that the symmetry of the human body is a major factor within defining health and fertility. Studies showed that participants defined more symmetrical faces as more ‘beautiful, healthy and attractive’.
Brad and Angelina
Viewers prefer to view an odd number of objects that display an obvious point of focus giving content and balanced relationship to the peripheral objects.

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