Da Vinci's Vitruvian Man of math - James Earle
What's so special about Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian Man? With arms outstretched, the man fills the irreconcilable spaces of a circle and a square -- symbolizing the Renaissance-era belief in the mutable nature of humankind. James Earle explains the geometric, religious and philosophical significance of this deceptively simple drawing.
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Pico della Mirandola’s Oration on the Dignity of Man Numberphile did a great explanation of “Squaring the Circle” See James Earle's other Lesson. After Rome was destroyed, people were wary of attachment to physical beauty. As Christianity gained traction, Romans instead began to focus on the metaphysical beauty of virtue, and art began to follow suit. James Earle discusses how Medieval paintings of Madonna were affected by this shift. The Vitruvian Man is a drawing created by Leonardo da Vinci circa 1490.It is accompanied by notes based on the work of the architect Vitruvius. The drawing, which is in pen and ink on paper, depicts a male figure in two superimposed positions with his arms and legs apart and simultaneously inscribed in a circle and square. The drawing and text are sometimes called the Canon of Proportions or, less often, Proportions of Man. It is stored in the Gallerie dell'Accademia in Venice, Italy, and, like most works on paper, is displayed only occasionally. "We know very little about Leonardo’s apprenticeship in Verroccio’s workshop, but the short account provided by Vasari confirms that it included architectural and technological design, according to a concept that was being revived on the model of Vitruvius, as reproposed by Alberti. Having had access to Alberti’s and Vitruvius’ treatises, it is no surprise that Leonardo produced his own version of the Vitruvian man in his notebooks." See Stanford's website devoted to the Vitruvian man. Check out all the TED-Ed Lessons about visual art.