The Golden Spiral In Art & Nature

The Golden Spiral In Art & Nature

The Golden Spiral is one of the most elegant of all geometric patterns. It appears in a surprising number of places in the natural world, and it has inspired humans in the creation of some of our greatest works of art and architecture.

What Is The Golden Spiral?

The golden spiral is a logarithmic spiral  which grows or expands at a very specific rate. That rate is known by many names: the Golden Mean, the Golden Ratio, the Divine Proportion, and more.

Mathematicians simply call it phi, or φ.

Like the more familiar π, phi is an irrational number which naturally occurs in geometry. It is found by dividing a line into two segments in such a way that the longer and shorter pieces have the exact same proportion as the longer segment has to the whole line.

Confusing? This picture is worth a thousand words:

golden spiral 1

Examples In Nature

Human beings first observed the Golden Spiral in the natural world, and were no doubt entranced by it long before they unlocked it’s secrets through geometry. Here are some stunning examples of the Golden Spiral in Nature.

Shells

nautilus shell

Galaxies

spiral galaxy

Storms

hurricane_golden ratio

Flowers

rose petals_golden ratio

The Human Body

vitruvian man

 

Examples In Architecture

Once the ancient mathematicians had “cracked the code,” they began using the Golden Ratio in architecture and sculpture, resulting in some of the finest structures in human history.

The Pyramids

pyramid_golden ratio

The Parthenon

parthenon_golden ratio

Notre Dame Cathedral

notre dame cathedral_golden ratio

 

Examples In Artwork

The Divine Proportion isn’t only used in architecture, it has also inspired some divine works of art, including some of the most famous and beloved paintings ever made:

Mona Lisa, by Leonardo Da Vinci

mona lisa_golden ratio

Sacrament of the Last Supper, by Salvador Dali

last supper_golden ratio

The Great Wave off Kanagawa, by Hokusai

hokusai_golden ratio

 

What are your favorite examples of the Golden Spiral (or Golden Ratio) from art, architecture, or in the natural world?

 

 

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Fibonacci Necklace, $65

 

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Golden Nautilus, $63

 

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Dichroic Glass optical Illusion Vortex Marble, $105

 

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Chalcedony Necklace, $232

 

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Barefoot Sandals-The Golden Spiral, $56.04

 

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Chrysoprase Spiral Prehnite Earrings, $54.95

 

Journal

Handmade Refillable Leather Journal, $69

 

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Sterling Silver Circles Necklace, $286

 

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