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Vitruvian Man - What is the Vitruvian Man


Vitruvian Man Getty Images, licensed to About.com
Definition: The Vitruvian Man is a drawing by Leonardo da Vinci, in which the artist uses some ideas of the Roman architect Vitruvius.

Since ancient times the notion of sacred geometry has led artists to spend a great deal of effort on matching the physical world to a mathematical ideal - not always successfully. Leonardo has created an iconic work of art in this interpretation of the proportions of the human body laid out in the Vitruvian books on Architecture.

The Vitruvian Man on the Voyager Spacecraft
Leonardo's drawing itself has been an enduring source of fascination for artists, and re-interpretations of the image appear constantly in graphic design. But one place that the Vitruvian Man did not appear was on the Voyager spacecraft. There is a plaque on the Pioneer spacecraft which depicts a simple outline drawing of a male and female human, which you can see in a representation of the Pioneer Plaque at the Nasa website. It's a pity, as it would be wonderful to think of a Leonardo drawing traveling into distant space.

Also Known As: Canon of Proportions, Proportions of Man
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