Vitruvian Man:The Vitruvian Man is a famous drawing with accompanying notes by Leonardo da Vinci made around the year 1490 in one of his journals. It depicts a naked male figure in two superimposed positions with his arms apart and simultaneously inscribed in a circle and square. The drawing and text are sometimes called the Canon of Proportions.
Leonardo's notes in the accompanying text,notes that go with it, show how Leonardo understood the proportions of the human body. Each separate part was a simple fraction of the whole. For example, the head measured from the forehead to the chin was exactly one tenth of the total height, and the outstretched arms were always as wide as the body was tall.
These ideas were not Leonardo's, but were taken from the writings of the Roman architect Vitruvius. Both men believed that the same principles should be used when designing buildings.
However, Leonardo tried to take these ideas further, and spent much of his life searching for connections between the structure of the human body, and other patterns in nature. Elsewhere in his notes, he proclaimed that "Man is the model of the world."
Ancient Roman architect Vitruvius, wrote that in the human body:
a palm is the width of four fingers
a foot is the width of four palms
a cubit is the width of six palms
a man's height is four cubits (and thus 24 palms)
the length of a man's outspread arms is equal to his height
the distance from the hairline to the bottom of the chin is one-tenth of a man's height
the distance from the top of the head to the bottom of the chin is one-eighth of a man's height
the distance from the hairline to the top of the breast is one-seventh of a man's height
the distance from the top of the head to the nipples is one-fourth of a man's height
the maximum width of the shoulders is one-fourth of a man's height
the distance from the elbow to the tip of the hand is one-fifth of a man's height
the distance from the elbow to the armpit is one-eight of a man's height
the length of the hand is one-tenth of a man's height
the distance from the bottom of the chin to the nose is one-third of the length of the face
the distance from the hairline to the eyebrows is one-third of the length of the face
the length of the ear is one-third of the length of the face
The rediscovery of the mathematical proportions of the human body in the 15th century by Leonardo and others is considered one of the great achievements leading to the Italian Renaissance.