Christopher Bartlett

Professor Emeritus of Art
Towson University
Baltimore, USA

Beyond the Golden ratio (Phi), a Mercury ratio (Chi)...?

Bartlett's meta-golden Chi or Mercury ratio is a unique mathematical constant related to the golden ratio and other metallic means.

One of the reasons this meta-golden Mercury ratio is a pleasing number, with remarkable geometric properties similar to the golden ratio, is that a rectangle of width 1 and a length of chi can be divided into a rectangle proportional to the original rectangle and a golden ratio rectangle. Recall the golden rectangle divides into a square and a golden rectangle.
The precise ratio for the Mercury or Chi rectangle is 1+√(4phi+5)/(2phi) or approximately 1.355…

Cornish Coast
Cornish Coast
54 x 40 cm
acrylic on canvas

This painting is a practical application of the meta-golden Mercury or Chi ratio rectangle. Its composition is constructed using an armature that yields golden ratio divisions, consequent squares and χ-ratio rectangles.
The more compact aspect ratio of this rectangle presents an appealing contemporary shape for art and design with the same generative properties as the golden rectangle itself.