The golden ratio occurs when the ratio of the sum of two quantities equals the ratio of the quantity as a whole, which is symbolized by the number 1.618 or the Greek letter “phi.” It has been used to create what are regarded as the most esthetically pleasing designs that display perfect symmetry in architecture and art, and has also been applied to measuring human beauty. You probably aren’t aware of the math that makes the golden ratio so appealing because it creates things and music that are naturally appealing without any reason to justify it.1

Most of you have probably heard of the golden ratio. It can be found, for instance, in “The Da Vinci Code” and in many articles, books, and school projects illustrating how math is essential to society. It is sometimes referred to as the divine proportion and has been considered the foundation of all beautiful patterns in nature by numerous authors. Many works of art and architecture are said to have elements that follow the golden ratio’s proportions. The golden ratio is said to have been followed in the construction of both the Parthenon and the Pyramids. It has also been suggested that the human body contains examples of the golden ratio, and it is said that nature too is filled with this divine proportion.2

Yet, whenever you think of applying math to the real world, you may have come across the golden ratio sparingly, which probably prompts you to question the veracity of the great claims made about the golden ratio. 

But it is true that, due to its prevalence in nature and in human anatomy, the golden ratio is frequently referred to as the Divine Ratio. The fact that the golden ratio can be found in so many living things led to a reverence for this extraordinary ratio, which is still an inspiration for modern artists and creators. So let’s look at some real-life examples of the golden ratio that can be found everywhere in classic architecture, artwork, nature, and even music.

  1. The Golden Ratio in Architecture

In nature and art, the golden ratio provides nearly flawless beauty. When looking for examples of the golden ratio in everyday life, you may be astonished at how many times it has been employed to construct numerous monumental buildings and structures. When the golden ratio is employed in architecture, the structure is referred to as sacred architecture. Some examples of this can be:3, 1

  • The Parthenon
  • The Great Pyramid of Giza
  • Chartres Cathedral 
  • Porch of Maidens
  • Taj Mahal 
  • The United Nations Building
  • Notre Dame
  • The Great Mosque of Kairouan
  1. The Golden Ratio in Art

There are numerous examples of master artists who used the golden ratio in their art. These works of art were created utilizing the golden rectangle and golden triangle ratios. Art based on the golden ratio is more appealing to the human eye. Some examples of art that portray the golden ratio are:1

  • Mona Lisa and Vitruvian Man by Leonardo Di Vinci
  • The Crucifixion by Raphael
  • Self-Portrait by Rembrandt
  • Birth of Venus by Botticelli
  • David, Holy Family by Michelangelo
  • The Sacrament of the Last Supper and The Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dali
Vitruvian Man
  1. The Golden Ratio in Music

When the golden ratio is used to construct a musical work, it turns the piece into a living illustration of math, as music is made up of numerical values. The golden ratio has thrived in 20th-century music, with some of the most well-known composers—Debussy, Stockhausen, Bartók, Stravinsky, Manzoni, and Ligeti—having consciously chosen to utilize these mysterious proportions. Several well-known instances include:4 1

  • Claude Debussy’s Dialogue du vent et de la mer
  • Bartok’s music for strings, percussion, and celesta, first movement
  • Mozart’s Sonata n. 1 in C Major
  • Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, first movement
  • Erik Satie and the Sonneries de la Rose+Croix

Despite the fact that this article explored a few examples of the golden proportion in everyday life, you can dig deeper into the topic and read the following blogs to learn more.

The Parthenon of Greece and the Mystery of Perfect Proportions

Patterns in Nature: The Beauty of Fibonacci Numbers and the Golden Ratio

You can read more and other engaging articles about math at BYJU’S futureSchool Blog.


  1. Golden Ratio Examples in Architecture and Nature | LoveToKnow. (n.d.). Retrieved July 13, 2022, from 
  2. Myths of maths: The golden ratio | (n.d.). Retrieved July 13, 2022, from 
  3. The essence of the golden ratio in everyday life -. (n.d.). Retrieved July 13, 2022, from 
  4. Five Classical Pieces with the Golden Ratio. (n.d.). Retrieved July 13, 2022, from