The Elements of Dynamic Symmetry

Front Cover
Courier Corporation, 1926 - Art - 133 pages
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Is design intuitive or is it consciously and methodically worked out? Are there basic rules governing design that, when learned, will facilitate the creative process? These questions have been asked by artists, art historians, and art critics throughout the ages.
Convinced that design was not purely instinctive, Jay Hambidge (1867-1924) spent much of his life searching for the technical bases of design. He found his answer in dynamic symmetry, one of the most provocative and stimulating theories in art history. Hambidge's study of Greek art convinced him that the secret of the beauty of Greek design was in the conscious use of dynamic symmetry--the law of natural design based upon the symmetry of growth in man and in plants. But Hambidge, who was not only a theoretician but also a practicing artist, did much more than analyze classical art and its principles of design: he worked out a series of root rectangles that the artist, using the simple mathematics supplied in this book, can easily follow and apply in his own work.
Originally published as a series of lessons in Hambidge's magazine, "The Diagonal, " this engrossing book explains all the basic principles of dynamic symmetry. Part I sets forth the fundamental rectangles with their simple divisions based on the proportioning law found in nature; Part II explains compound rectangles, many of which were taken from or suggested by analysis of objects of Greek art.
Whether read for its historical importance in art theory, for its illuminating insights into Greek art, or for its practical value to today's artists and commercial designers, "The Elements of Dynamic Symmetry" has much to offer anyone who is interested in the principle of design.
Dover republication of the third (1948) edition.

 

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Contents

The Square 1 or Unity
17
The Rectangle of the Whirling Squares 1618 and the RootFive Rectangle 2236
25
The Application of Areas
28
The Reciprocal
30
The Diagonal
33
The RootTwo Rectangle 14142
39
The RootTwo Rectangle and the Application of Areas
43
The RootThree Rectangle 1732
48
Rhythmic Themes of the Whirling Square Rectangle
80
The Square Plus a RootFive Rectangle 14472 and a Whirling Square Rectangle Applied to a Square
84
Compound Rectangles Within a Square
89
Further Analyses of the Square
94
The Addition of Unity to Dynamic Areas
98
The Gnomon
101
Ratios Most Frequently Used Their Reciprocals and Simple Divisions
105
Ratios Most Frequently Used Their Reciprocals and Simple Divisions
110

The RootFive Rectangle 2236
55
The Spiral and Other Curves of Dynamic Symmetry
59
General Constructions for Similarity of Figure
65
The Complement
71
WHAT INSTRUMENTS TO USE AND HOW TO USE THEM
118
DEFINITIONS
121
GLOSSARY
127
Copyright

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