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May 2017
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BEAUTY AND GEOMETRY  ----  Leonardo’s Rules

When we look at a woman’s face, on the basis of which criterion
do we judge it to be pretty?
Are there general, aesthetic criteria
on the basis of which we, maybe unconsciously, judge?

Basing his observations on numerous European faces, Leonardo da Vinci established the rules that determine ideal facial proportions, that represent the norm against which one measures the ‘perfect human-being’ and the model that is often strived towards – although it is easier to find these in sculptures and classical paintings than in real life!

The size of the eyes, the distance between them and the size of the base of the nose have to be equal
The width of the mouth has to be equal to the distance between the irises
The highest part of the ears has to be in line with the eyebrows
The lowest part of the ears has to be in line with the tip of the nose
The eyes have to lie exactly in the middle of the head

Some examples:

Example n.1

Example n.2

By looking at the examples above it is clear to see that even a face that moves away from Leonardo’s rules can be very attractive and pleasant to look at. Nevertheless, being familiar with these rules can be useful when trying to rationalise the feelings of disharmony that one sometimes feels when looking at a face.


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