Thursday, March 5, 2015

Harmonic Proportions ~ Vitruvian Man

Drawing Title: Vitruvian Man, 1490

Leonardo da Vinci

The Virtruvian Man has also been referred to as "Canon of Proportions" or the "Proportions of Man". The image and accompanying text of the Virtruvian man displays the understanding that Leonardo had of the proportions of man. The artist used the theories of the Roman architect Vitruvius, calculating the proportion of the perfect male figure. The text above and below the drawing is written in Mirror writing by Leonardo.

Text from The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci

From the roots of his hair to the bottom of his chin is 1/10 of a man's height; from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head is 1/8 of his height; from the top of the breast to the roots of the hair will be the 7th part of the whole man. From the nipples to the top of the head will be the 4th part of man. The greatest width of the shoulders contains in itself the 4th part of man. From the elbow to the tip of the hand will be the 5th part of a man; and from the elbow to the angle of the armpit will be the 8th part of man. The whole hand will be the 10th part of the man. The distance from the bottom of the chin to the nose and from the roots of the hair to the eyebrows is, in each case the same, and like the ear, a third of the face.

“Do you know that our soul is composed of harmony?”
Leonardo daVinci

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