External beauty is a complex construct that influences lives and may be impacted by dentists. Beauty is not easily quantified, but one cited anthropometric of beauty is the ratio phi, the number 1.618033(...). This study examined phi as a measure of female frontal facial beauty in classic Western art, using pre- Renaissance (N = 30), and Renaissance (N = 30) artwork. Four horizontal and five vertical ratios were determined in the works of art, which were then compared with the phi ratio.
All horizontal ratios for both pre-Renaissance and Renaissance artwork were similar to each other, but did not contain the phi ratio (P < 0.001). Nevertheless, all vertical ratios for pre-Renaissance and Renaissance art-work did contain the phi ratio within their confidence intervals with the exception of the vertical ratio, intereye point to soft tissue menton/ intereye point to stomion, that was found to be less than phi in the Renaissance group.
The study provides evidence of the presence of the phi ratio in vertical aspect of females in artwork from pre-Renaissance through the Renaissance demonstrating consistent temporal preferences. Therefore, the phi ratio seems to be an important consideration in altering vertical facial dimensions in full mouth rehabilitation and reconstructive orthognathic surgery involving females.