The book is based on a series of arithmetical studies and geometrical designs. The ideas that Hambidge collected in his book -which had been strongly influenced by the proportions and symmetries used in Greek architecture and sculpture- created a great deal of discussion by some, and proselytism by others. Compared to other artists who preceded him, Hambidge embodies, with no doubts, an exception. Although, today he remains an obscure American Illustrator and scholar who should be studied and recalled for his great effort in re-establish standard canons of aesthetics and beauty in his research and his visual works as well.
|Published (Last):||16 August 2014|
|PDF File Size:||8.21 Mb|
|ePub File Size:||18.47 Mb|
|Price:||Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]|
The book is based on a series of arithmetical studies and geometrical designs. The ideas that Hambidge collected in his book -which had been strongly influenced by the proportions and symmetries used in Greek architecture and sculpture- created a great deal of discussion by some, and proselytism by others.
Compared to other artists who preceded him, Hambidge embodies, with no doubts, an exception. Although, today he remains an obscure American Illustrator and scholar who should be studied and recalled for his great effort in re-establish standard canons of aesthetics and beauty in his research and his visual works as well. In he was hired by Life Magazine -along with his friend Peter McArthur- to write and illustrate a series on humor and mathematics. Their research led them to a potential rediscovery of a lost natural law of proportion in art and design.
Within 5 years, Jay and Peter disagreed, parting ways. Brewer In the early s, Hambidge spent a lot of time in studying classical art and traveling to Greece. In he also conducted a research on the measurement of the human figure at the Harvard Medical School. Jay Hambidge and Mary Crovatt His ideas on design and the travels to Greece made a deep, lasting impact on Mary Crovatt Hambidge: an actress, model, and singer who accompanied him in his journey and who took his last name although they never married.
He abandoned his wife and 4 children in His collected writings, which include a number of his geometric renderings, were published posthumously by Yale University Press and later mass-produced by Dover.
An English critic, in fact, says that Hambidge did not try to formulate a new theory, but he just recovered a lost technique. Smith What he dealt with, in fact, is the so-called golden section. What Hambidge tried to do in his The Elements of Dynamic Symmetry was launching a new philosophical dimension for artists of his era. Many years before Le Corbusier wrote about his more famous Modulor, Hambidge developed a clear theory about the relationships of order and proportion in art and design with the human figure itself.
McWhinnie His system, which uses dynamic rectangles, is based not only on the golden ratio but also on the silver ratio, obtaining a generalization of the well known Fibonacci sequence. Hambidge chooses and as the beginning numbers of his sequence. Not only visual artists but also companies such as Tiffany and Co.
Although it is difficult to find most of his visual works, their subtlety, compositional care, and their historiographical value are noteworthy. The production of Hambidge, according to the pieces found on the internet, is composed primarily of oil paintings, watercolors, and inks.
The main topics covered in its production can be divided into the following categories: social issues, war scenes, historical events and new artistic trends that anticipate the themes of French Impressionism. The first one, dated , is a black and white illustration that captures an endless line of potential immigrants. In this image, it is interesting to note the use of atmospheric perspective.
Also, in terms of composition, it is easily observable that the image is based on the golden rectangle: the only man walking in the opposite direction back to the lineup is the focal point. By the turn-of-the-century, Jay Hambidge was known for his illustrations focused on people working in the steel mills, coal fields, and along the train lines. It focuses on the rescue of a boy on the tracks of an oncoming train. By constructing this image as a diagonal composition, Hambidge compels us to feel the danger of the looming train rushing toward the two figures.
Indeed, switchman Patrick McTamany lost his life rescuing the boy. Norman Rockwell Museum Hambidge had a predilection for deep scenes. His use of perspective not only helps to give depth to the drawings but also highlights the feelings of the people placed in the foreground.
In a lot of works is it visible how the shadows are part of the storytelling: they help give movement or stasis to his compositions.
The high quality results of his printed works, makes us think that it was incredibly aware of printing, engraving, and also photoengraving techniques. Most of his traceable works are dated across the turn-of-the-century when he was still a young boy. This leads us to assume that he devoted the rest of his life mainly to the writing of his research. Work cited Fine Art America. Hambidge, Jay. New York, Dover Publications.
Print Harvard Art Museums. Lattimer Massacre Project. McWhinnie, H. Norman Rockwell Museum. Prints old and rare.
Rotondo, M. Smith, S. The Hambidge Center. The Old Print Gallery. Mirta Rotondo. Professor Neil Shapiro. ILL OL2.
Jay Hambidge: Illustrator, writer, mathematician
His analysis of Greek art led Hambidge to the "re-discovery" of Dynamic Symmetry, the law of natural design based upon the symmetry of growth in man and plants. Hambidge published his findings as a series of lessons in his magazine, The Diagonal, which were later compiled into the book, The Elements of Dynamic Symmetry. When Hambidge later studied contemporary art, he observed that the perfect forms from nature were being applied to art already, even if unconsciously. Elaborating and refining his theory during the next 10 years, Hambidge traveled and taught widely at the most prestigious American universities including Yale and Harvard, stridently preaching that the universal application of these proportions would achieve beauty and harmony. The theorist published his re-discoveries in a number of books on dynamic symmetry throughout his career. After writing Dynamic Symmetry and the Greek Vase and Dynamic Symmetry and the Greek Parthenon, his contemporaries, including Robert Henri and George Bellows — , began to take interest and employed the ratio in their own work. Norman Rockwell also experimented with Dynamic Symmetry but found its mathematical specificity too restrictive.
Dynamic Symmetry: The Greek Vase
The Elements of Dynamic Symmetry