You have probably seen this image before, it’s the Vitruvian Man drawn by Leonardo Da Vinci who lived during the Italian Renaissance 500 years ago. The Vitruvian Man was a Roman architect named Virtuvius who lived 2000 years ago, he has written books about structures and stuff. Among that stuff, he wrote about the proportions of humans. Da Vinci read those texts and drew this famous peice which is one helluva graphical hit.
Because this peice is so well known, a lot of misconceptions about it is in circulation. One being that every man is supposed to have the proporations described in the Vitruvian Man. And because we don’t have that, the drawing is a hoax. That’s of course nonsense because there’s all kinds of body shapes and sizes. The interesting thing about the drawing is that it show a beautiful body where the proportions are right.
Unlike many old paintings, this drawing is from Da Vinci’s unpublished work which concist of serveral thousands peices of paper on which he drew and wrote on. In other words, he most likely did not intend for this drawing to become anything or seen by anyone.
Some of the proportions of the Vitruvian Man are:
If you want to know more about Leonardo Da Vinci, I highly recommend the course Leonardo da Vinci and the Italian High Renaissance from The Great Courses.
Another point of interset is the fact that there are two men instead of one. This duality can be seen more clearly if we take two, same halfs of the Vitruvian Man and place them next to each other, with one side being flipped horizontally. Have a look:
Looks like two completely different persons right? This duality can be found in the Mona Lisa also, she has both straight and curly hair. Why is that? Obviously there’s no time to go deeper into this subject here but I’m very sure that these timeless peices are just that because there’s more to see if you know what to look for.