Leonardo Da Vinci's Vitruvian Man, a diagrammatical design of the human form in relation to its geometrical proportions, is one of the most enduring images of the European Renaissance. Vitruvian Man provides a key to the proportions of Vitruvius's architectural drawings contained in his Ten Books on Architecture, De Architectura. (The description of Vitruvian Man is formed from Book Three in particular). Completed in 1490, it was fashioned after drawings of the Roman architect/engineer Vitruvius who lived in 1BCE. Da Vinci sought to portray the symmetry of human form as both measurer and agent of civilisation. Da Vinci placed his diagrammatical interpretations of Vitruvius's writings inside a square and overlaid this with a circle representing a secular design of the human form in three-dimensional space. However, Vitruvian Man depicts not only a relationship of geometrical proportion but also a human 'performance model'. Whether Leonardo thought that the mathematical delineations pointed to an underlying implicate order, he did not directly write on the subject. Vitruvian Man represents the dividing moment between the natural world and the world of modern civil engineering and the human architectural environment. It is a founding document for the evolution of the Newtonian age and the recognition of humankind as the centre of civilisation.
Strongman, L. (2010). Force field: Vitruvian man and the physics of sensory perception. International Journal of Arts and Sciences, 3(9), 218-226.