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Man has always tried to measure and quantify the world surrounding him. To do this he has used the measures and proportions of his own body. Until the French Revolution of 1789 (birth of the metric system), the whole world measured their environment in «hand», «palms», «spans», «feet» and «cubits».

These five measures have the following particularity: the sum of two adjacent measures is equivalent to the following measure (hand + palm = span; span + foot = cubit) and the relation between two adjacent measures is constant, and equivalent to the number 1.618: hand x 1.618 = palm, palm x 1.618 =span, span x 1.618 = foot and foot x 1.618 = cubit. The cubit, or «royal Egyptian cubit» was equivalent to 52.9 cm (after the reform under the 26th dynasty of the Pharaohs).

While Euclid (300 BC) already spoke of this relation of two lengths in his «Elements», this proportion was named «Divine Proportion» by Luca Pacioli, a mathematician and contemporary of Leonardo da Vinci (1509), much later «Golden Section» by the German philosopher and mathematician Adolf Zeising around 1850 and finally «Golden Ratio» in 1932, by the Romanian diplomat Matila Ghyka.

TM

The Golden Divider for Arts