Sexual Fables

This article accompanies the fable
Angel Incarnate

Vitruvian Man
by Leonardo da Vinci

This famous drawing was completed around 1490 as an illustration for a book on the works of the Roman architect Vitruvius. It is now in the Gallerie dell'Accademia in Venice. It asserts an essential symmetry between the human body and the universe, the microcosm and the macrocosm. In other words, for Leonardo it was about more than just architecture - it is an idea that finds increasing favor today.

Vitruvian Man by Da Vinci (around 1490)

As with other Leonardo drawings, is there more here than meets the eye? Below is a close-up that some regard as an erect penis hiding in the fiery pubic hair, hard to see because it is pointing at the viewer.


In case that seems just too esoteric, it is a little more obvious in this Vitruvian Man by Leonardo's contemporary Cesare Cesariano for a 1521 edition of Vitruvius. Unlike in Leonardo's drawing, the proportions here are distorted to fit the circle/square.


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