Leonardo da Vinci was born in 1452 in Italy and died in France in 1519. A polymath, he excelled in both science and the arts. In his drawing “Vitruvian Man” he took the proportions of a man’s body and superimposed them on the circle and square. The drawing and text are sometimes called the Canon of Proportions or, less often, the Proportions of Man.
Leonardo’s drawing is traditionally named in honor of the architect. It is based on the correlations of ideal human body proportions with geometry described by the ancient Roman architect Vitruvius in Book III of his treatise De architectura. Vitruvius described the human figure as being the principal source of proportion among the classical orders of architecture. Vitruvius determined that the ideal body should be eight heads high.