Vitruvian Man - Leonardo da Vinci. 34.3 x 24.5 cm
This is not just one of Leonardo da Vinci's most well-known drawings, but the most widely circulated media image. It is often found in a variety of textbooks, used in commercials and posters, even flickers in the movies - it’s enough to recall the Da Vinci Code ambiguously accepted by the public and critics. Such fame is due to the highest image quality and its significance for modern man.
“Vitruvian Man” is at the same time a masterpiece of fine art and the fruit of scientific research. This drawing was created as an illustration for a book by Leonardo dedicated to one of the works of Vitruvius - the famous Roman architect. Like Leonardo himself, Vitruvius was an unusually gifted person with the broadest interests. He knew mechanics well and had encyclopedic knowledge. Leonardo’s interest in this extraordinary person is understandable, since he himself was a very versatile person and was fond of not only art in its various manifestations, but also science.
The Vitruvian Man is a witty and cutting-edge way for his time to demonstrate the ideal proportions of a human figure. The figure depicts a man in two positions. In this case, the outlines of the images are superimposed on each other and inscribed respectively in a square and a circle. Both geometric shapes share common ground. This image shows what the correct proportions of a man’s body should be according to the description left by Vitruvius in his book “On Architecture”. In a broad sense, the concept of architecture can be applied to the principles of the structure of the human body, as Leonardo da Vinci successfully demonstrated.
The role of the Vitruvian Man in the development of art and the heyday of the Italian Renaissance is extremely great. After the fall of the Roman Empire, numerous knowledge of previous generations about human proportions and body structure was lost and gradually forgotten. In medieval art, depictions of people were very different from those of antiquity. Leonardo was able to demonstrate how the divine design is actually reflected in the structure of the human body. His drawing became a model for artists of all time. Even the great Le Corbusier used it to create his own creations that influenced the architecture of the entire XX century. Due to the symbolism of the image, many consider it to be a reflection of the structure of the entire universe (the navel of the figure is the center of the circle, which causes associations with the center of the universe).
In addition to its enormous historical and scientific significance, the Vitruvian Man also bears a significant aesthetic burden. The drawing is made with thin, precise lines that perfectly convey human forms. The image created by Leonardo is very expressive and memorable. It is hardly possible to find a civilized person who did not see this image and does not know its author.