Vitruvian Man

The Vitruvian Man is the familiar drawing made by Leonardo da Vinci around 1490. It shows the proportions of the human body according to the architect, Vitruvius.

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Leonardo’s notes on the page, written in reversed mirror writing, tell the math associated with the ideal man’s proportions.

The writing above the figure says: “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”

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The lower section of text gives these proportions:

  • 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 below the chin to the nose and the eyebrows and the hairline are equal to the ears and to one-third of the face. (more)

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Describing the ideal man has become not only a task for artists, but also for philosophers, authors, and pundits. Contemplate Christ, Buddha . . . even Frankenstein’s monster, and remember that no man is without flaws.

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Jesus-w-guy

Christ

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Laughing Buddha

 

Frankenstein’s monster

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Wolves and Dogs and Monkey and Me

by Emily Gravett

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Watch Emily Gravett on youtube.

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About Emily

Emily Gravett has a rare talent indeed for creating exceptional books for children. The winner of two Kate Greenaway Awards, her skill and wit are second to none as she pushes the boundaries and wrings maximum fun and detail from every page. Emily first sprang into the limelight with the ground-breaking Wolves in 2005, which has been followed by such brilliant modern classics as Meerkat Mail, Little Mouse’s Big Book of Fears, Monkey and Me, Again! and the fabulous Bear and Hare series for younger readers, as well as the beautiful Tidy. Each book is unique and different from the last – and each features endearing, beautifully drawn characters that touch the heart and tickle the funny bone. Emily lives in Brighton with her family. (Pan MacMillan)

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Books are also available on Amazon (US).