domenica 31 ottobre 2010

A poem with curved

The white stretch
of its white beach,
curved as the moon crescent
or ivory when some fine hand
chisels it.

Il tratto bianco
della sua spiaggia bianca,
curvo come la luna crescente
o l’avorio quando una mano sottile
lo scolpisce

(from “Thetis” by Hilda Doolittle, 1886-1961, American writer and poet)

The dynamism of the curved shapes in the sculpture

Forme uniche nella continuità dello spazio, U. Boccioni, 1913

"It is achieved through the intuitive search for the one single form
which produces continuity in space."
(Umberto Boccioni, 1882-1916)

Boccioni puts speed and force into sculptural form, as a search for 'simultaneity', and for a 'synthesis' between what is remembered and what is seen. The figure strides forward, surpassing the limits of the body, its lines ripple outward in curving and streamlined flags, as if molded by the aerodynamic of its passing.  Boccioni implies not only that his tightly compressed subject is so dynamic that it must burst its four-sided confines, but that it is a fragment of a constantly changing visual experience. It reflects a desire to go beyond the world of machines and, perhaps beyond ordinary senses

Straight and curved in the pictorial symbols

Il bacio, G. Klimt

The work is based on a classic pyramid scheme and it is characterized by a complicated network of contrasts between straight and curved lines.
Lines must express feminine softness and masculine rigor, spiritualism and concrete nature, eroticism and asceticism, grace and force, pliability and toughness. Straight lines and square shapes decorate the dress of the man to emphasize his calm and force, while the dress of the woman is rich in floral curved to represent the delicacy and fragility of woman.


Sax is a usually curved musical instrument, but there are also straight models

Fishing rod

A flexible object which has both curved and straight


A structure of straight elements supports a curved structure

Straight and curved in the Bible

La chiamata di Giovanni: Lc 3, 1-6

Nell’anno quindicesimo del governo di Tiberio Cesare, essendo governatore della Giudea Ponzio Pilato, e tetrarca della Galilea Erode, Filippo, suo fratello, tetrarca della Iturea e della regione della Traconitide, e Lisania tetrarca dell’Abilene, sotto il sommo sacerdote Anna e Caifa, avvenne la parola di Dio su Giovanni, figlio di Zaccaria, nel deserto. E venne per tutti i dintorni del Giordano, predicando un battesimo di conversione per la remissione dei peccati, come sta scritto nel libro delle parole di Isaia, il profeta: “Voce di uno che grida nel deserto: preparate la via del Signore, fate dritti i suoi sentieri. Ogni burrone sarà (sia) riempito e ogni montagna e collina abbassata; e ciò che è curvo sarà (sia) reso dritto e ciò che è aspro sarà (sia) (reso) vie piane. E ogni carne vedrà la salvezza di Dio.”

With the introduction full of references, the evangelist inserted the story of John the Baptist in world history, that puts them in connection with Roman history and the political and religious situation of Palestine.

sabato 30 ottobre 2010

The curved line in visual art

The curved line appears first in architecture and only later in the visual arts. In particular, the Baroque painting is characterized by swirling curvilinear trends that make it dramatically expressive, just think of Caravaggio, the Carracci, Rembrandt, Lanfranco, Velazquez and many others. The English painter William Hogarth (1697-1764) creates a composition like a S called "line of beauty" and find the secret of harmony in the double curve.
In the nineteenth century William Morris (1834-1896), founder of British design movement "Arts & Crafts", rediscovers the curved line through the revival of Gothic, in a style that involves the fine arts, applied arts and crafts.This is the century of the artistic movement called Art Nouveau in France, Secession in Austria, Jugendstil in Germany, Liberty in Italy, Modernism in Spain.
In general, it can be said that the curved line is suitable to represent the natural elements in a stylized way, as in the Liberty, which adopts a curved line known as "whiplash," but it is also well suited to suggest the idea of spiritualistic nature force so as in the Symbolism.
Among the modern artists, Paul Klee uses the curved line in many of his designs "childish" in which the curve grows at infinity; Gustav Klimt instead proposes flat and curved shapes, stylized as arabesques, elegant dancers, and still lifes. Oskar Kokoschka, a member of the Secession, favors a curved line to better express his troubled relationship with the life suffered, while Edvard Munch uses the complex curved line of A­rt Nouveau to express his poetic anxiety. In Italy Gaetano Previati, one of the greatest artists of the Liberty, use a wavy and serpentine line.
Finally, Sol Lewitt, famous for its murals with bands straight, vertical and horizontal, feels the need to introduce the curved line in his last wall drawings to expand its discourse on art as a metaphor for the complexity of life.

The straight line in visual art

The straight line, a symbol of order, symmetry, organization, security, it has great importance, especially in artistic periods with a strong anthropocentric view, as in the Italian Renaissance, in which the human body was considered the highest perfection (see the studies of Leonardo and his Vitruvian Man).
Straight line in the Neoclassical period means a rejection of the earlier dramatic curves of the Baroque and it is used to obtain a formal language as simple and essential.
In the Modern Art the use of the straight line expresses essentially the same needs: the minimalist American culture, aimed at a rigorous geometric reduction, invented the skyscraper as a symbol of a pragmatic society that goes straight to the point; in the European culture the straight line has more intellectual meanings, because it is the sign of spiritualism. For example, Piet Mondrian, strict Calvinist, use straight lines in his abstract Neoplastic style creating grid systems with straight black lines, looking for a geometric balance.
The Futurism in Italy suggests a straight line "living, breathing" of "naked severity" that becomes dynamic through an internal force as vibrant as the string of an instrument.

The Annunciation by Piero della Francesca shows the use of central perspective
in the Renaissance. The construction work is based on straight lines
that converge into a single vanishing point.

Straight and curved lines

The lines are important elements for a visual reading, because their performance shows the intent of the author and send the communicative message clearly and immediately, especially the psychological and emotional.
The straight line is a symbol of mind control, to simplicity of expression and mathematical and geometrical order.
The curved line suggests the idea of a free and unified movement, but not uniform; it is a symbol of harmony and protection.

Straight and curved in the city

The urban plan view showing the intersection of several straight and curved roads

Straight and curved rivers

Leopold and Wolman (1957) have classified different river styles. This classification is essentially based on the shape of the river channel, as it appears on aerial photographs.
Straight rivers have a low sinuosity index. Meandering rivers have instead a channel characterized by sinuous curves.

Sickle in biblical mythology and in agriculture

The sickle is an agricultural tool with a curved blade,
but it is also the instrument of the Death

The sickle appears as a weapon in the hands of mythical beings,
such as Kronos and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, especially Death.
This stems mainly from the Christian biblical belief which describes death
as "harvester of souls" or "Grim Reaper".
The most widespread in the collective representation of death is personified
as a skeleton who wielding a sickle, sometimes dressed in a black tunic with a cap.

The sickle is an agricoltural tool consisting of a curved steel blade and very short wooden handle, used to harvest grain and cut grass.

martedì 26 ottobre 2010

The classic Chinese poem about the "straight" and the "circle"

使至塞上 [shǐ zhì sài shàng]
作者:【王维】 年代:【唐】 体裁:【五律】 类别:【边塞】
Author: Wang Wei   Time: Tang Dynasty   Genre:Five laws   Category: Bian sai




A plume of smoke rises up straightforwardly into the sky of the Great Desert while the Yellow River dimmed as the setting sun goes down.

Straight and curved in a project about some skyscrapers

A contemporary architectural project explores the concepts of straight and curved
through a spectacular area with three main elements which take their name
from these two adjectives. The project is located in Milan and is scheduled for 2015
(year of the Expo which will be held in Milan) and promises to change
the skyline of the city in an important way.
The main project consist of 3 towers, ironically called "the straight", "the croocked" and "the curved". The croocked skyscraper was designed by Zaha Hadid and as the main element has a structure that seems to twist on itself for 190 meters and 44 floors. As regards, however, the straight and curved the plan is that the former is about 220 meters high (practically will be the tallest in Italy) on 51 floors and is signed by Arata Isozaki, while the second will be 70 meters high total with 35 floors. This was designed by Daniel Libeskind and is probably the most distinctive and original of the three development plans for that, with increasing height, are staggered so as to make it look like you're bending the skyscraper. This tower also will be used not only offices, but will host a hotel and some luxury private residences.

These three skyscrapers will rise instead of the halls of the old trade center, in a very central area of Milan. At the heart of the new district will be built a new underground metro line 5 to get you to "the straight" and "the croocked" directly.

From a curved posture to a straight posture

枪怕圆,鞭怕直--to stab the spear curvedly and lash the whip straightly

武术界谚语-A proverb from Chinese Wushu
 --to stab the spear curvedly and lash the whip straightly--
Despite the spear is straight and stiff, it is possible to make the spear curved. Stabbing the spear curvedly shows that how fast the user's action is.
The whip is soft and flexible, but one can also lash it to be straight. Lashing the whip straightly shows the holder's wonderful strength and technique.

the spear
the whip

... still proverbs

You can read some Italian proverbs about straight in:

Straight or curved?

“Se guardiamo un pezzo di legno perfettamente diritto,
immerso nell'acqua, ci sembra curvo e spezzato.
Non ha importanza che cosa guardi, ma come guardi:
la nostra mente si ottenebra nello scrutare la verità.”


What is a smile?

“A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.”

“Un sorriso è una curva che mette tutto a posto.”

(English aphorism by Phyllis Diller)

Latin sentences about straight and curved

"Res iudicata facit ex albo nigrum; ex nigro, album; ex curvo, rectum; ex recto, curvum"

“La cosa giudicata rende nero ciò che è bianco e bianco ciò che è nero; rende curvo ciò che è dritto e dritto ciò che è curvo”

"The res judged makes black white and white is that what is black; is what makes straight and curved straight that is curved"

(Brocardo latino)


“Arator, nisi incurvus, praevaricatur”

“Colui che vuole arare un campo, se non cammina curvo (su se stesso) esce dal dritto solco”

(Plinio il Vecchio, 18, 49, 4)

“Gutta cavat lapidem, consumitur anulus usu,
Atteritur pressa vomer aduncus humo”

“La goccia scava la pietra; coll’uso l’anello d’oro si consuma; ed il vomero curvo è consumato dalla terra indurita”

"The drop excavates the stone, using the gold ring is consumed, and the vomer is curved consumed by the hard ground"

(Ovidio, ex Pont., 4, 10, 5-6)

Curved bridges

Meyer, C. (1970), “Analysis and Design of Curved Box-Girder Bridges”
Structural Engineering and Structural Mechanics Report No. UC SESM  70-22, University of California, Berkeley.

The history of curved bridges and the highway geometric requirements of these structures are discussed. The report outlines the methods developed over the years for analyzing curved bridges. These include straight beam approximation, curved beam theory, refined curved beam theories, plate and grillage analysis methods, finite element analysis, and the finite strip method analysis of curved folded plates. Refined curved beam theories are required to analyze thin walled box sections that can experience warping of the cross section ha relatively thick walls, warping is generally small and ordinary curved beam theory can be used successfully.
Two methods of analysis are developed in the form of computer programs. The first program, FINLAPA2, uses the finite element method. The second program, CURSTR, uses the finite strip method of curved folded plates.

Take from: “Development of design specifications and commentary for horizontally curved concrete box-girder bridges” in

What are the syonyms and antonyms of curved and straight?

Curved_english language
Synoyms:S-shaped, arced, arched, arciform, arrondi, biflected, circular, compass, crooked, curly, curvaceous, curvilinear, declinate, elliptical, enbowed, humped, incurvate, incurved, looped, loopy, round, rounded, serpentine, sigmoid, sinuous, skewed, snaky.
Antonyms: straight.

Curvo_italian language
Contrari: dritto || Vedi anche diritto, rettilineo, retto

Straight_english language
Synoyms: beeline, collinear, consecutive, continuous, direct, erect, even, horizontal, in a line, in line, lineal, linear, perpendicular, plumb, precipitous, rectilineal, rectilinear, right, vertical. Honest, fair.

Dritto_italian language

Draw a cartoon

The detail of the finger shows the importance of managing
the curved and straight lines when you draw a comic.

Curved in a famous comic

B.C. is a daily American comic strip created by cartoonist Johnny Hart. Set in prehistoric times, it features a group of cavemen and anthropomorphic animals from various geologic eras. Thor is one of the most important human characters in B.C.: he is a self-proclaimed ladies' man; inventor of the wheel and the comb.

giovedì 21 ottobre 2010

Chinese swords 中国刀剑

The opposition of "straight" and "curved": the Chinese swords (中国刀剑)

Five thousand years past, the function of swords has experienced such a transmigrate.   Thereinto, the sword almost dominated the vast majority of human warfare.  The produce and development of swords are referred to the stimulate of martial need, and also the promote of science technology. In modern times, the function of the swords emerges as artwork even more.  
Chinese swords have a long history in China. Stone swords were used in prehistoric times. Bronze swords have been traced back to the bronze daggers of the Western Zhou period, but did not come into common use until the Eastern Zhou period. Bronze long swords suddenly appeared during the mid-third century BC. Later swords were made of iron or steel. These metals were wrought, never cast.  Swords commonly reached a length of 70-100 cm, although longer swords have been found.  Chinese group all swords into two types, Jian(剑) and Dao(刀). Jian are dual edged and Dao are single edged.

剑 pinyin: jiàn    sword: a straight shape, represents a character of justice
the way of use: to puncture

下图: 越王勾践剑 Sword of GOU Jian

刀 pinyin: dāo    sword: a curved shape, always held by some bad person, a hint of wickedness.

the way of use: to chop
明代斩马长刀 (long sword of Ming Dynasty)

长刀 (long sword)