Tag Archives: Architectural History

Did Leonardo da Vinci Copy his “Vitruvian Man?”

Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man is one of his most recognized and admired works. However, new evidence suggests that it was not the artist’s original work. Architectural historian Claudio Sgabari believes that the piece may have been copied from Leonardo’s friend and contemporary Giacamo Andrea de Ferrera.

In Leonardo’s writings, he mentions “Giacomo Andrea’s Vitruvius” — seemingly a direct reference to the illustrated Ferrara manuscript. Secondly, Leonardo had dinner with Giacomo Andrea in July 1490, the year in which both men are thought to have drawn their Vitruvian men. Experts believe Leonardo would have probed Giacomo Andrea’s knowledge of Vitruvius when they met. And though both drawings interpret Vitruvius’ words similarly, Leonardo’s is perfectly executed, while Giacomo Andrea’s is full of false starts and revisions, none of which would have been necessary if he had simply copied Leonardo’s depiction, rather than the other way around. (Scientific American)

Other Art Historians agree with the argument and believe that the origins of the Vitruvian man may be more involved and intricate than previously believed. To read about this story in more detail, see the article in Scientific America, MSNBC, and FoxNews.