Leonardo da Vinci used the golden ratio in the Mona Lisa
Adrian Bejan of Duke University (Photo: Duke University Photography)
A golden rectangle (Image: HB via Wikimedia Commons)
Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian Man also employs the golden ratio
The golden ratio describes a rectangle with a length roughly one and a half times its width. Also known as the golden section, golden mean and divine proportion, among other names, it has intrigued mathematicians and artists alike for centuries. The Egyptians supposedly used it to guide the construction the Pyramids, the architecture of ancient Athens is thought to have been based on it, and many artists have fashioned their works around it. This includes Leonardo da Vinci, who used it in the Mona Lisa and the Vitruvian Man. Now a Duke University scientist believes he has figured out the secret behind the golden ratio’s popularity – and it’s all down to evolution.
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