Dressage is a discipline of horse and rider requiring extreme strength, grace, balance and will. It is often associated with the famous white Lipizzaners of the Spanish Riding School in Vienna, Austria.
I chose to pay homage to this in my sculpture, MAESTRO*. In studying the horse I found that proportionally the horse in this gesture approximated the Golden Ratio or Divine Proportion in mathematics.
Leonardo Da Vinci’s association with this ratio inspired his illustrations for Luca Pacioli’s book The Divine Proportion. Da Vinci showed examples of how Phidias, a Greek sculptor and mathematician, applied it to the design of sculptures for the Parthenon. Euclid proved that the diagonals of the regular pentagon cut each other in “extreme and mean ratio”. The Fibonacci spiral, etched in the sculpture’s base, is the result of taking this ratio and drawing circular arcs connecting the opposite corners of squares. It is often found in nature as evidenced by the chambered nautilus which would expand to infinity in the same proportion.
Throughout art and architecture this ratio has been applied to the layout of paintings and architecture in order to achieve divine harmony. It is shown that DaVinci applied Divine proportions to “The Annunciation” and Michael Angelo to “The Creation of Adam”.
Phidias (given credit for discovering this proportion was honored by its moniker, phi) proved this in his design of the elevation of the Parthenon. It is considered one of the great masterpieces of classical architecture for this reason.
*This sculpture was inspired by my dear friend Katy Browne and her magnificent horse Maestro.