The Vitruvian Man is a major symbol of Renaissance mathematics. The Vitruvian Man might be one of the most recognizable images in the world, but many people can’t name it. It is a drawing of a male inside of a circle and a square simultaneously, which connect at the base. The Vitruvian Man was made c.1490 by Leonardo da Vinci. His main theory when he made it was that the arm span should be equal to the height of a person; this was his idea of a “perfect man”. It is also known as the "Canon of Proportions" or the "Proportions of Man". The drawing is stored in the Gallerie dell’Accademia. The paper is 34.4 cm by 25.5 cm and is seen only occasionally because it can deteriorate easily.
The drawing is based on the ideal human proportions described by the ancient Roman architect, Vitruvious. This is where the name "Vitruvian Man", comes from. A later drawing of "Vitruvian Man" by Cesariano in 1521, was considered a complete failure. First, he drew a perfect circle and square, which touched at the four points of the square. Then he drew a picture of a man with his hands and feet touching the four points of the square. The end result was that the man was disproportionate. The man’s arms were too long, his legs too short, and hands and feet, too big.
After he finished the drawing, Leonardo wrote two sections of text, located above and below. The part above the image says:
"If you open your legs enough that your head is lowered by one-fourteenth of your height and raise your hands enough that your extended fingers touch the line of the top of your head, know that the centre of the extended limbs will be the navel, and the space between the legs will be an equilateral triangle" and the length of the outspread arms is equal to the height of a man
"Vetruvio, architect, puts in his work on architecture that the measurements of man are in nature distributed in this manner, that is:
• from the hairline to the bottom of the chin is one-tenth of the height of a man
• from below the chin to the top of the head is one-eighth of the height of a man
• from above the chest to the top of the head is one-sixth of the height of a man
• from above the chest to the hairline is one-seventh of the height of a man.
• the maximum width of the shoulders is a quarter of the height of a man.
• from the breasts to the top of the head is a quarter of the height of a man.
• the distance from the elbow to the tip of the hand is a quarter of the height of a man.
• the distance from the elbow to the armpit is one-eighth of the height of a man.
• the length of the hand is one-tenth of the height of a man.
• the root of the penis is at half the height of a man.
• the foot is one-seventh of the height of a man.
• from below the foot to below the knee is a quarter of the height of a man.
• from below the knee to the root of the penis is a quarter of the height of a man.
• the distances from the below the chin to the nose and the eyebrows and the hairline are equal to the ears and to one-third of the face.”
a man is 24 palms.