Da Vinci Man (the Vitruvian Man)
The famous image of the da Vinci Man, also known as the Vitruvian Man, depicts a nude man in two superimposed positions with his arms and legs stretched, inside a square and a circle. It was created by Leonardo da Vinci around 1490 based on a work of the ancient Roman architect Vitruvius, who described ideal human form in correlations with geometry, as a blueprint for universal design. The drawing is accompanied by da Vinci’s detailed notes combining careful study of the ancient text with his own observations. For example, the body should be eight heads high; the length of the outstretched arms should be equal to the height of a man; the palm is four fingers; the foot is four palms; and so on. This image provides a blend of art and science and shows Leonardo’s deep understanding of proportion, symmetry and workings of the human body as a “microcosm”.