Compare and Contrast Types of Symmetry in Art


Compareand Contrast: Types of Symmetry in Art

Compareand Contrast: Types of Symmetry in Art

Thedesigners, especially in architectural fields, use different elementsof design in different ways through arrangements and decorations tocreate stability and convey an idea. While balance refers to a properdistribution of elements to enhance visual perception, itspresentation in every piece of art determines effectiveness inrevealing an intended feeling or message (Dresp-Langley,2016).Simplyput, the designer’s choice of balance facilitate achieving the bestand aesthetically pleasing design.

Thereare several types of balance including symmetrical, asymmetrical andradial balance. Designers achieve symmetrical balance by usingbalanced and corresponding size, shape, and position of elementsresulting in a mirror-like presentation of parts about a verticalaxis (Lamp, 2015). For example, the symmetrical balance is evident ingovernment and capital buildings such as the US Capitol in WashingtonDC (1792-1830) found in The designers chosesymmetrical balance to reveals the idea of order, consistency, andclarity. Moreover, it helps reflect messages of trust andinspiration.

Asymmetricalbalance is achievable using elements of differing shapes, color,texture, and sizes. Consequently, this balance represents variety,liveliness, and uniqueness (Lamp, 2015). For instance, JohannesVermeer in his &quotWoman Holding a Balance&quot (1664) artwork chose the asymmetrical balance to reveal liveliness, astability of the state of mind and faithfulness through a greatjuxtaposition of differing elements. The artist punctuated thelargest dark or shadow region on the paint with smaller region oflight (Dresp-Langley,2016).In addition, Dresp-Langley(2016, p.1) explainsthat the painting has empty or plain area at the left that balanceswith the focal point where the woman holds the balance.

Finally,a radial balance exists when the elements disperse from a centertowards all direction such as in the rays of light (Lamp, 2015). Insimilar ways elements originate from the center, they also create alead towards the common center thereby revealing the feeling ofillumination, enlightenment, attraction and loyalty (Bluedark, 2016).For instance, the designer of the GoldenSitting Buddhaat chose radial balance to reveal the sense ofillumination, meditation, loyalty and spiritual enlightenment.

Inbrief, the use of principles of balance is important when a designerintend to enforce a particular feeling or deliver a particularmessage. The skills necessary especially in the creation ofasymmetrical balance requires not only creativity but alsosignificant experience or practice. However, with the adoption ofcomputerized graphical applications, architecture can achieve thebest radial, symmetrical and asymmetrical balance easily.


BluedarkA,(2016).TheGolden Buddha.FineArt America.Retrieved 1 September 2016, from

Dresp-Langley,B. (2016). Visual Symmetry: From Geometry to Sensation andPreference. Preprints. 10.20944/preprints201608.0046.v1

Lamp,L. (2015). Designin Art: Balance and Contrast.Sophia.Retrieved 1 September 2016, from