Lionardo da Vinci

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Vitruvian Man

The Vitruvian man is both Leonardo's most famous sketch and the most famous drawing in the world. It represents man's proportion and how it relates to mathematics, specifically phi, or the "golden ratio."

The Vitruvian Man

 

  • c. 1490
  • Type Pen and ink with wash over metalpoint
  • on paper
  • Dimensions 34.4 cm × 25.5 cm (13.5 in × 10.0 in)

The Vitruvian man is both Leonardo's most famous sketch and the most famous drawing in the world. It represents man's proportion and how it relates to mathematics, specifically phi, or the "golden ratio."

 

 

Detail of the upper part of the Vitruvian man Text

 

The text translated to English Reads:

"Vetruvio, architect, puts in his work on architecture that the measurements of man are in nature distributed in this manner, that is:
  • a palm is four fingers
  • a foot is four palms
  • a cubit is six palms
  • four cubits make a man
  • a pace is four cubits
  • a man is 24 palms

and these measurements are in his buildings. If you open your legs enough that your head is lowered by one-fourteenth of your height and raise your hands enough that your extended fingers touch the line of the top of your head, know that the centre of the extended limbs will be the navel, and the space between the legs will be an equilateral triangle".
  • the length of the outspread arms is equal to the height of a man
  • from the hairline to the bottom of the chin is one-tenth of the height of a man
  • from below the chin to the top of the head is one-eighth of the height of a man
  • from above the chest to the top of the head is one-sixth of the height of a man
  • from above the chest to the hairline is one-seventh of the height of a man.
  • the maximum width of the shoulders is a quarter of the height of a man.
  • from the breasts to the top of the head is a quarter of the height of a man.
  • the distance from the elbow to the tip of the hand is a quarter of the height of a man.
  • the distance from the elbow to the armpit is one-eighth of the height of a man.
  • the length of the hand is one-tenth of the height of a man.
  • the root of the penis is at half the height of a man.
  • the foot is one-seventh of the height of a man.
  • from below the foot to below the knee is a quarter of the height of a man.
  • from below the knee to the root of the penis is a quarter of the height of a man.
  • the distances from the below the chin to the nose and the eyebrows and the hairline are equal to the ears and to one-third of the face.

Detail of the bottom text of the Vitruvian Man