Leonardo Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man – Meaning and Study of Proportions –

Perhaps one of the best known images of Leonardo da Vinci, a pencil and ink drawn image depicting a nude man with arms and legs in two different positions, annotations, squares, and circles. Obviously we are referring to the Vitruvian Man. Today we are going to dedicate this space to this magnificent representation, Leonardo Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man – Meaning and Study of Proportions.

Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci, was born in Vinci on April 15, 1452, and died in Amboise on May 2, 1519 at the age of 67. Define Leonardo Da Vinci as a renaissance painter is not entirely correct, since he was not only an exceptional painter of the Italian Renaissancebut he was also an architect, anatomist, paleontologist, inventor, artist, botanist, scientist, sculptor, writer, engineer, philosopher, musician, poet and urban planner.

His childhood was spent at his mother’s house, although soon he moved to Florence, where he would live with his father. In Florence he studied with the famous painter Andrea de Verrocchio beginning in different techniques from panel paintingaltarpiece paintings to create large sculptural pieces in materials such as marble or bronze.

His first contracts made him move to Milan where was painter for Duke Ludovico Sforza Duke of Milanjobs that opened the door to the great families of Rome, Bologna and the coveted Venice. He assisted the Italian mathematician Luca Pacioli in his famous work The Divine Proportion (1509). died in France where he lived his last years, as a guest of the French King Francis I.

Among his most outstanding works we find:

What is the meaning of the Vitruvian man?

The drawing made in pencil and ink and which was part of the annotations of one of his diaries, belonged to the personal collection of the also painter and writer Giuseppe Bossi, until his death it could be Acquired by the Accademia Gallery in Venicewhere it is today and since 1822. If we are lucky, it will be there where we can see it if we coincide with the only day that it is exposed to the public every 10 years.

The vitruvian man It is Leonardo’s vision ofand the position that man occupies in the universe, for Leonardo man was the centerwhich is why it is represented inside the circle. Secondly, the square represents the classical part since it is the basis of the architecture of this period, proportionality. The 90º angles and symmetry are the bases of sculpture and Greco-Latin architecture.

This proportionality is what Leonardo brings to the anatomical study of the human bodyfollowing the same canons of classic beauty.

What relationship does the Vitruvian Man have with proportions

The proportions of vitruvian man the most measures indicated by the Roman architect and inventor were based, within the annotations that accompany the drawing appear different corrections on proportionswhile adding others that Vitruvius had not taken into account.

Measurements of Leonardo Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man

  • 4 fingers make 1 palm
  • 4 palms make 1 foot
  • 6 palms make 1 cubit
  • 4 cubits make 1 step
  • 24 palms make a man

Whether spread the legs enough distance to make the total height decrease by 1/14 and placing the arms outstretched and cross, you raise them until the fingers reach the height of the top line of the head. Reaching this position we place the geometric center of our body at the navelwhile the figure that will draw the position of the legs is that of an equilateral triangle. We can observe this position in the figure of vitruvian man which has the highest arms and elevated legs.

  • The distance from the hairline to the top of the chest will be 1/7 of the man’s overall size.
  • The measurement between the nipples and the top of the head will correspond to 1/4 part.
  • The measurement of the greatest width of the shoulders is itself 1/4 part.
  • The measurement between the elbow to the tips of the fingers is 1/4 part.
  • The measurement from the elbow to the apex of the armpit should be 1/8
  • The measurement of a full hand is 1/10 part.
  • The beginning of the genital area will mark the middle of the man.
  • The foot should be 1/7 part.
  • The distance between the sole of the foot and the knee should be 1/4 part.
  • The distance between the knee to the beginning of the genitals should be 1/4 part.
  • The distance from the bottom of the chin to the nose and the distance from the hairline to the eyebrows should be the same.
  • The measurement of the torso will be the same that exists between the knee to the beginning of the pelvic bone.
  • The legs will measure the same as the distance between the center of the chest to the tips of the fingers of the hand.

Vitruvian proportions

  • The measurements of the face will be 1/10 of the total height, taking these from the chin to the hairline.
  • The palm of the hand measures the same from the wrist to the tip of the middle finger.
  • Head measurements taken from the chin to the crown area will be 1/8 of the full body measurement.
  • The measurement from the sternum to the beginning of the hairline will be 1/6 of the total measurement.
  • The distance from the center of the chest to the crown will be 1/4 of the total measurement.
  • From the chin to the beginning of the nose, it will measure 1/3 of the face.
  • The forehead measurement should be equal to 1/3 of the face.
  • 1 foot = 1/6 of the total height
  • 1 cubit = 1/4 of the total height

The navel is the center of the human body because if a man is placed lying on his back, with his arms and legs fully stretched. If we place an imaginary compass at the navel and if we could draw a circle, it would pass through both the tips of the fingers and toes.

Yes We measure from the bottom of the feet to the top of the head.the resulting measure must be the same as the existing one between the tips of the fingers with the arms extended. If we join these points, the resulting figure will be the square.

Why is it called the Vitruvian Man?

The vitruvian man was born in the Studio, the name by which the company was known Royal Academy of Venice. It is a drawing with annotations found in one of his multiple diaries. looks like it was drawn around 1490 and represents a human figure, specifically a man, he appears represented in two different positions of arms and legs. The figure is inserted in a circumference and in a square.

The drawing responds to the studies that Leonardo Da Vinci carried out on the proportions of the human body, this study arose starting of some architectural texts of Marcus Vitruvius Pollioa Roman architect, writer, engineer and treatise writer belonging to the 1st century BC., who participated in the configuration of ancient Rome.

From the mathematical calculations Leonard presents the proportions of the human being. In honor of the ancient Roman architect Vitruvius, this drawing is named after him.

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