symmetry of the past and present


This user gallery has been created by an independent third party and may not represent the views of the institutions whose collections include the featured works or of Google Arts & Culture.

This gallery will showcase the appeal of the universal design principle of symmetry in works of art. This collection will display pieces from 2600 BC through today. Each image will include a small caption for the explanation of their inclusion.  Some of the artwork is incredibly detailed, so I suggest you take advantage of the zoom feature and explore them more.

Reserve Head, Unknown, 2609 BC - 2584 BC, From the collection of: Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien
This early sculpture shows the basic symmetry in what we would consider an attractive face. Studies have been shown that symmetrical facial features are the basis of physical attraction.
Stela of Senebef and Ita, Unknown, 1850 BC - 1750 BC, From the collection of: Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien
This piece shows simple symmetry and balance. Even the carvings of the figures in the flat portion display symmetry.
Mummy coffin of Djedmontefanch, From the collection of: Rijksmuseum van Oudheden
This coffin, or sarcophagus shows incredibly detailed symmetric paintings. Zoom in and you'll be blown away!
Piedra del Sol, unknown, 1250/1500, From the collection of: Museo Nacional de Antropología, México
This piece displays symmetry not only on the X and Y axis, but several diagonal axis as well.
Christ Pantocrator, Unknown, 11 th c., From the collection of: St. Sophia of Kyiv
Such a beautiful work, and we don't even know the name of the producer. Not only are the images symmetrical, but the architecture of the building's arches as well.
Koran, Calligrapher: Muhammad b. Ahmad b. Kamal ibn Yahya al-Ansari al-Mutatabbib, the physician of Cairo, December 1344-45 (Sha'ban 744 A.H.), From the collection of: Smithsonian's National Museum of Asian Art
There is such detail in the symmetrical designs of this Koran. It also shows great use of negative space with the darker star shapes.
Chasuble, Unknown, 1430/1440, From the collection of: Treasury, Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien
This piece shows what I would consider as the return of Jesus. A line of symmetry can be drawn right down the middle.
Wedding Supper, Martin van Meytens, 1763, From the collection of: Schönbrunn Palace
Although this piece is a great show of perspective, it is an equal show of vertical symmetry as well.
Princess Deok-on's Wonsam, Ceremonial Robe, Unkown, 1822 - 1844, From the collection of: Seok Juseon Memorial Museum, Dankook University
A ceremonial robe which shows a significant amount of detailed symmetry. The small, yellow designs are equal in number on each side.
Red Pyramid, Libensky, Stanislav (Czech, 1921-2002), Artist, 1993 - 1993, From the collection of: Corning Museum of Glass
This shows a pyramid made of red glass. The pyramid is such an interesting geometric form that instills the feelings of power and mystery.
Egypt, the Nile, the Life, Ahmed Nawar, 1992, From the collection of: Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art
This is an interesting piece displaying symmetry. It was created in the early Nineties and depicts the key points of Egypt.
Urban Light, Chris Burden, 2008, From the collection of: Los Angeles County Museum of Art
The photo doesn't necessarily show the symmetry of the light pole layout, but I have personally walked through them. It is interesting in a simple way, even during the day when the lights are off.
Shepard Fairey, OBEY, "Cerrado por Malagueña", Shepard Fairey, OBEY, 2013-11, From the collection of: Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Málaga
Like the 2008 Obama campaign poster, Fairey is well known for the OBEY "Big Brother/Andre the Giant" image. It shows simple and effective symmetry, and was first used as a stencil for his street art.
D*Face, "Cerrado por Malagueña", D*Face, 2013-11, From the collection of: Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Málaga
Another street and contemporary artist gaining notoriety is known as D*Face. His works can be seen on the streets of LA and displayed in art shows. The symmetry of this work is simple and effective.
Untitled, D*Face, Obey, 2013-11, From the collection of: Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Málaga
The huge symmetrical work on the right is by S. Fairey, and the work on the left is by D*Face. "Peace and Liberty" on the right is what we are focusing on for this gallery. Zoom in and check it out!
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