Vetruvian Man (c. 1490) by Leonardo da Vinci

Vetruvian Man - Leonardo da Vinci - 1492

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Artwork Information

TitleVetruvian Man
ArtistLeonardo da Vinci
MediumInk on Paper
Dimensions24.5 x 34.3 cm
Art MovementHigh Renaissance
Current LocationGalleria dell'Accademia, Venice, Italy
Location Created Milan, Italy

About Vetruvian Man

The artwork known as “Vitruvian Man” is a seminal piece created by the celebrated High Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci in 1492. This iconic design, drawn with ink on paper, measures 34.3 cm by 24.5 cm and is currently housed in the Galleria dell’Accademia in Venice, Italy. The artwork was created in Milan, Italy, and stands as a testament to Leonardo’s deep interest in proportion, anatomy, and geometry.

The artwork depicts a male figure in two superimposed positions with his arms and legs apart and simultaneously inscribed in a circle and a square. The two positions of the arms and legs allow the figure to fit perfectly into both shapes, representing Leonardo’s keen interpretation of the ideal human body proportions as described by the ancient Roman architect Vitruvius. Hence, this is where the work gets its name. Surrounding the central figure are dense texts and notes detailing the artist’s observations and reflections on these proportions.

Leonardo’s meticulous approach to the anatomical correctness of his subject is evident as the figure is drawn with great care and precision. The use of fine lines to delineate the musculature and contours of the body exhibits his mastery of drawing and understanding of the human form. This celebrated design links art and science, exemplifying the intersection of humanistic and technical inquiry prevalent during the Renaissance period and contributing significantly to both artistic and scientific discourses.

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