Vitruvian Man

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Leonardo da Vinci Vitruvian Man

Leonardo da Vinci was an great artist in the early sixteenth-century in Italy. Not only was he An artist but he was also a scientist, a sculptor, musician, architect and just an overall thinker. He was what they considered to be a true renaissance man. Da Vinci had an interest in almost everything. He dissected cadavers to understand the mechanisms of life and had a serious quest for knowledge. ”Like other fifteenth-century scholars, he read ancient authorities to further his inquiries” (pg331). His first days of painting were in Florence Italy and he studied under the artist Verrocchio.

One of Da Vinci’s famous works of art was the Vitruvian Man which was created in the late 1487. The drawing and text are sometimes called the cannon of proportions, or the proportions of man. It is stored in the Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice, Italy. “ His interest in architecture and engineering led him to the works of the Roman architect Vitruvius, whose treatise had inspired Alberti earlier in the century“ (pg331). Vitruvius wrote a series of books on architecture, one of them focused on proportions. The Vitruvian ideas, presented by Da Vinci, formed the basis of Renaissance proportion theories in art and architecture. The pen and ink drawing, which is thirteen and a half inches by 9 and a half inches, was created by Leonardo da Vinci and it depicts a man fitting his body into a circle and a square by adjusting the positions of his arms and legs.

In one of Vitruvius’ books he stated that building should be in the proportions of man because the human body is the model of perfection. He justifies this by stating that the human body with arms and legs extended fits into the perfect geometric forms, the circle, and the square.

Many other artists tried this theory, as they were also very interested in architecture and the ideal human body, but were not successful. The results were disproportionate figures with arms to long and...
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