Helix

DEFINITION

A three-dimensional spiral; a curve that lies on a cylinder or cone. Spirals ? helixes and volutes ? are among the ten classes of patterns. The chirality of a helix is the direction of its turning, or handedness. A right-handed helix turns as a screw does; a left-handed one turns in the opposite direction.(pr. HEE-ləks)Works in which this form is important:Donato Bramante (Italian, 1444-1514), architect, Spiral Ramp, 1503, a right-handed helix, Vatican. A contemporary photograph of the ramp, and Bramante's drawing of it.Quote: "What is art, But life upon the larger scale, the higher, When, graduating up in a spiral line Of still expanding and ascending gyres, It pushes toward the intense significance Of all things, hungry for the Infinite? Art's life, ? and where we live, we suffer and toil." Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861), English poet. Aurora Leigh, book 4, 1857. Also see caduceus, coil, curve, horn, and structure.

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