The Aging of Venus Part 1 - The Triangle of Beauty.
The triangle ( and in particular the equilateral triangle with all sides having equal dimensions ) is the most stable of all geometric forms. It has been studied throughout time by the greatest minds of mankind. Its use is seen in the construction of the Mayan and Egyptian Pyramids. Pythagorus discovered its area by the formula a^2 + b^2 = c^2. The triangle is repeated again and again in nature – in the tail of the guppy, and even in the shape of the Nautilus sea snail. Any geometric shape can be broken down into a triange – including a circle or a square.
If you look at the human body, the isosceles triangle is repeated over and over again. In Leonardo Di Vinci’s Vitruvian man we can see the perfect proportion of the isosceles triangle from the length of the extended arms to the feet. We can see it in torso of the man – from the shoulder to the navel.
Today, cosmetic surgeons are studying the triangle of Youth to apply their skills in injectables, lasers, and surgeries to recreate a younger appearance for their patients. I want us to take a look at one of the most famous paintings in Early Rennaisance Classical Art – Boticelli’s Birth of Venus. Let’s take a closer look at Venus’ face as rendered by Boticelli and examine why the face of Venus is so beautiful.
The first remarkable overall characteristic is youth. The face is a young face. If we put a group of 5 women in a room and 4 of them were in their 40’s and 50’s and are considered “beautiful”, and one of them was in her 20’s and considered “pretty”, the 20 year old would win out hands down.
The face of Boticelli’s Venus is in her late teens or early twenties. Let’s examine what makes her beautiful from the top down. I will briefly go through these points today but in later blog posts, I will examine each of these points in detail.
1. First off her skin is even toned overall. As we age our skin becomes discolored and mottled in appearance.
2. The forehead is smaller, and the eyebrows are lifted. As we age the forehead lengthens and the brows fall.
3. The forehead and areas between the brows are smooth. With time and stress, we develop the forehead lines and glabellar brow lines.
4. The skin above the eyelids follows the contours of the open eye. With age, the skin lags and overhangs over the eyes.
5. The skin of the eyes are smooth, but with time, they loose elasticity and develop lines underneath the eyes and the lateral crows feet.
6. The area of the tear troughs are full and even. As we age, the eyes become sunken.
7. The cheekbones are high and lifted, giving the face a nice Ogee Curve of convex curve leading to a concave curve. With time, that curve breaks up as we see here.
8. The nasolabial folds are minimal. With time, they become deeper and more pronounced.
9. The lips are full and inviting. With age comes the loss of volume in the lips, as well as the lip lines.
10. The plane of the jaw extends from the ear all the way to the chin. As we age, the plane breaks up. It comes out, indents at the marionette or puppet lines, and then comes out again.
11. The jawline is a razor sharp straight line when we are young. With time, the straight line breaks up into the jowels that we hate.
When we are young, the appearance of the face can be approximated as an isosceles triangle standing on its tip. As seen here in Boticelli’s The Birth of Venus. If we take a closer look at her face, we can see the highlighted parts of her face form a perfect isosceles triangle. And if we examine her face closely, we can see the trademarks of beauty that are seen in Boticelli’s depiction of ultimate youth and beauty in the goddess of Venus. But with the passing of time, the perfect isosceles triangle gets inverted and distorted. In the next 11 blog posts, we will examine each of the 11 points of the aging of Venus in detail. Stay tuned! This is Doctor Phil Nguyen with Happy Clinic Denver.