Lo Store ufficiale del Polo Museale Fiorentino | Soprintendenza Speciale per il Patrimonio Storico, Artistico ed Etnoantropologico e per il Polo Museale della citta' di Firenze

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Museum - Uomo Vitruviano

Leonardo da Vinci’s famous drawing, called Vitruvian Man, depicts human proportions according to the anthropometric canons of second-century Roman architect, Vitruvius Pollio.

The drawing has been conserved at the Polo Museale Veneziano’s Gallerie dell'Accademia since 1822, when the Austrian government purchased it, along with twenty-five other extraordinary drawings by Leonardo, from Milanese collector Giuseppe Bossi. After centuries of oblivion, it was Bossi who reintroduced the Vitruvian Man to the public in 1810.

The sheet (344 x 245 mm, white paper), made in Milan around 1490, depicts a study of the proportions of the human body, inserted into a circle and square. The geometric shapes, considered perfect by Plato, are not concentric but placed in relation to one other, according to the Golden Ratio. Thus the center of the circle coincides with the navel, and that of the square falls at the height of the genitals, respectively indicating spiritual and physical origin. And it is precisely the brilliant idea of simultaneously representing two geometric potentials - via the application of mathematical rules that produce a harmony bordering on music - through which the artist creates an accordant rendering in a synthesis that remains unsurpassed. The dual posture of the human figure also emphasizes the image’s kinetic style, in a game of continuous change that - combined with the humanistic concept of man as a mirror to the universe - acts as a symbol of the classical perfection of body and mind, human and divine, and, therefore, the microcosm, a reflection of the entire universe on a human scale.

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