BACKGROUND | TASK | PRESENTATION | CURRICULUM OBJECTIVES | RUBRICS

 Who the heck is Vitruvius... The reverse writing imbedded in Leonardo’s drawing is his translation into Italian from the Latin of MARCUS VITRUVIUS POLLIO, De Architectura, Book III of X, Chapter 1, "On Symmetry in Temples and in the Human Body." Vitruvius, an architect and military engineer during the Second Triumvirate, (following the death of Julius Caesar) and in the early reign of Augustus, was strongly influenced by the Greeks, particularly Hermogenes (c.200 BCE), and wrote on topics of style, proportion, ornamentation, the directions of streets, foundations and substructures, building methods and materials, ancient inventions, acoustics, and structural harmonics. Vitruvius wrote, "...in the human body the central point is naturally the navel. For if a man be placed flat on his back, with his hands and feet extended, and a pair of compasses centered at his navel, the fingers and toes of his two hands and feet will touch the circumference of a circle described therefrom. And just as the human body yields a circular outline, so too a square figure may be found from it. For if we measure the distance from the soles of the feet to the top of the head, and them apply that measure to the outstretched arms, the breadth will be found to be the same as the height ..."

Students will create their own version of the Vitruvian Man and will relate Vitruvius' theories of proportions to their model. What follows is detailed instructions to help guide students through the work.

With a partner and a digital camera locate an adult male and photograph him in the positions described below...

1. Have the subject stand upright with his legs together and his arms straight out to the sides for your first image.
2. Next, have your subject open his legs until his height has been decreased by 1/14 of his original height. Then have him raise his arms until his middle fingers touch the level of the top of his head.
3. Be sure all appropriate calculations are thought out before approaching your subject.
 *NOTE: to get the best results use a model with bright clothing and photograph against a white wall.*

Once you have acquired the images needed, determine if the following ten statements are true.

The preceding is the complete translation of the text accompanying Leonardo DaVinci's Vitruvian Man. It is actually a translation of Vitruvius, as Leonardo's drawing was originally an illustration for a book on the works of Vitruvius.

1. The length of a man''s outspread arms is equal to his height.
2. From the roots of the hair to the bottom of the chin is a tenth of a man's height.
3. From the bottom of the chin to the top of a man's head is one eighth of his height.
4. The greatest width of the shoulders contains in itself the fourth part of the man.
5. From the elbow to the tip of the hand will be the fifth part of a man.
6. From the elbow to the angle of the armpit will be the eighth part of the man.
7. The whole hand will be the tenth part of the man.
8. The foot is the seventh part of the man.
9. From the sole of the foot to below the knee will be the fourth part of the man.
10. The distance from the bottom of the chin to the nose and from the roots of the hair to the eyebrows is, in each case the same, and like the ear, a third of the face.
11. The space between the legs will be an equilateral triangle.

 At the point in the school year that this project will be presented, we will have explored many different presentation styles open to the students. It is our belief that different students will excel in different styles and we want students to be able to design thir finished work in a manner that best reflects their work. Upon completion of your calculations show these 10 ratios and statements on your newly created Viruvian Man. Your final project can be presented in any form you deem suitable for the work that you created. Be sure to include answers to the following questions in your final presentation: Are your fractions/ratios similar to Vitruvius'? If you have fractions/ratios that are not similar, why do you think your findings are different from Vitruvius'? If you have fractions/ratios that are similar, what does this tell us about human bodies now compared to human bodies in the 1500's? We have presented our finished task as a webpage. View finished project. Extension Activities: Try to find a new model, other than a male (try kids, females, teens etc.) and make a "Vitruvian Person" - do these same fractions/ratios apply? See if you can come up with some new relationships that with your new model that don't fit the male Vitruvian Man.

 MATH ART ICT Number Concepts: Develop a number sense for decimals and common fractions, explore integers and show number sense for whole numbers Number Operations: Apply arithmetic operations on whole numbers and decimals in solving problems Patterns & Relations: Use relationships to summarize, generalize and extend patterns including those found in music and art Shape & Space (3D/2D): Use visualization and symmetry to solve problems involving classification and sketching Shape & Space (3D/2D): Classify triangles according to the measures of their angles Shape & Space (Transformations): Create patterns and designs that incorporate symmetry. tesselations and reflections Analysis: Students will study and analyze the indivisual character of natural objects and forms Assessment: Students will impose standards on designed objects and invent improved versions Unity: Students will create unity by integrating the parts of a composition into the whole C4: Students will use organizational processes and tools to managae an inquiry C5: students will use technology to aid collaborationduring inquiry C6: students will use technology to investigate and/or solve problems C7: Students will use electronic research techniques to construct personal knowledge and meaning