This well known drawing by Leonardo da Vinci, about 1500, relates to
achitectural treatise at all, to survive from Antiquity, by Vitruvus Pollio.
Although it is unillustrated, it profoundly influenced art throughout history,
especially in the period Renaissance
Vitruv, in the first
century b.c., reports the classical ideal of beauty as derived
from symmetry and
a modular relationship, of the parts to the whole on a
mathematical basis. (The
smaller part compares to the larger as this to the whole:
this is called "The
Golden Section" or the "Golden Mean".)
(AB cut at C, so that
CB:AC = AC:AB; about 8:13)
3. Ideal Proportions Leonardo, ˜1500,
after Vitruv, 1st C.
Architecture was seen as
an imitation of nature with anthropomorphic
- that is human - proportions!
Vitruv distinguished the three column types as Doric,
Ionic and Corinthian,
the proportions deriving respectively from a man, a matron and
a young girl.
Art and science (and also nature) were considered as completely
as a unit.
postulated, that the main task of the artist was to give a standard
idealised contour of the human body in exact proportions to gain Balance and
We can still admire this in the statue of the "Aphrodite of Melos",
better known as the "Venus de Milo", one of the most famous works of art history...
4. Venus de Milo
... in the same way as this beautiful ideal image of a man's body, the so called
"Warrior of Riace", found in the Mediterranean Sea a few years ago, now in Naples.
These personified ideals of classical beauty have influenced art throughout
the centuries until today!
5. Warrior of Riace
Bronce, South Italy
Over 2m high; Reggio di Calabria