Format: Pen and ink with wash over metalpoint on paper
Location: Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice, Italy
The Vitruvian Man is a pen and ink drawing created by Leonardo Da Vinci around 1487, probably during his years in Milan. An extraordinary study of human proportions, it depicts a male figure in two superimposed positions simultaneously inscribed in a circle and a square. Often called the Canon of Proportions, it's the perfect example of Leonardo's interest in proportion and the relation between man and nature.
He makes several detailed observations about the proportions of the human body. He states that the navel is the human body's centre and can be used as a fixed point to draw a perfect circle around the body. He also observes that the height of a man is nearly equal to his arm span and that a sketch of a body with arms outstretched could perfectly be placed inside a square. This claim that a human body could fit into both a circle and a square captivated da Vinci greatly. Many of his contemporaries struggled to render this idea in visual form.
Many meanings and possible readings have been attributed to this drawing. A potent example concerns the circle and square that, since the Middle Ages, have been used as symbolic representations of the sky and earth, with a human figure within them illustrating the correspondence between macrocosm and microcosm.
There is no clear evidence that the drawing influenced artistic practice in Leonardo's day or later. It was first published in reproduction in 1810 and only became famous in the late 19th century when it was reproduced again. It's also worth noting that, though Roman architect Vitruvius Pollio's work on the representation of the human form is cited in the drawing, it is now believed that da Vinci's work is much closer to Alberti's 'De statua' and Euclidean theory.
80% Combed Cotton, 17% Polyamide, 3% Elastane. Made in Portugal using the most advanced craftsmanship to produce the finest seamless socks.
Wash inside out (40ºC/100ºF max). Do not tumble dry, iron.
- Large: L: 41-46 UK (7½-11½) US (8-12)
- Medium: M: 36-40 UK (4-7) US (4½-7½)
- Large: L: 41-46 UK (7½-11½) US (10-12½)
- Medium: M: 36-40 UK (4-7) US (6-9½)
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