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Did Leonardo Da Vinci copy his famous 'Vitruvian Man'?

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posted on Jan, 31 2012 @ 05:36 AM
The famous picture of the Vitruvian Man, which illustrated what Da Vinci believed to be a divine connection between the human form and the universe, may have been a copy of the work by Da Vinci's friend. A Claudio Sgarbi believes the Vitruvian Man was the work of a contemporary renaissance architect, as well as an expert on Vitruvius, named Giacomo Andrea de Ferrara.

After decades of study, Claudio Sgarbi, an Italian architectural historian who discovered the lesser known illustration of the Vitruvian man in 1986, now believes it to be the work of Giacomo Andrea de Ferrara, a Renaissance architect, expert on Vitruvius, and close friend of Leonardo's. What's more, Sgarbi believes Giacomo Andrea probably drew his Vitruvian man first, though the two men are likely to have discussed their mutual efforts. Sgarbi will lay out his arguments in a volume of academic papers to be published this winter, Smithsonian Magazine reports.

The key arguments are as follows: 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.
Did Leonardo da Vinci Copy his Famous 'Vitruvian Man'?

Another historian, Indra McEwen, believes that the two, Da Vinci and Ferrera, rather worked in tandem, and that they worked as colleagues bringing a beautiful and ancient idea back to life.

"Whose was the 'original' drawing is a non-question as far as I'm concerned. Much as it is a preoccupation of our own time, I don't think it would have been an issue in Leonardo's day," McEwen told Life's Little Mysteries.

Additionally, the work of Ferrera was inferior to the work of Da Vinci. Leonardo was a far better draftsman and had a far superior understanding of human anatomy.

Either way, does it really matter who drew it? I think the whole argument of who was the originator of the drawing is moot, and that history has pretty much said its peace on the matter. But in the interest of fairness, I guess it's all right to bring it up, albeit it's pretty much inconclusive at this point. If Sgarbi really had some definite answer, we would've known already, and it's not really worth waiting for his work to be published. I just hope he didn't feel he has wasted decades of his life studying this...

posted on Feb, 1 2012 @ 08:25 AM
Here's a copy of the "Vitruvean Man" by Giacomo Andrea de Ferrara. If he made his drawing first, I think he should get some recognition for it. The drawing is not bad and not at all so inferior to Leonardo's as the popular press would have us believe, IMHO.

It's an interesting story. It's too bad that Giacomo Andrea met such a gruesome fate.

posted on Feb, 5 2012 @ 01:46 AM
reply to post by ipsedixit

It is probably impossible to tell who drew it first. As to the statement that his is not as inferior as the media would have us believe .... I think you are wrong, it is vastly inferior. My personal opinion.

posted on Feb, 5 2012 @ 02:00 AM


There's goes my hopes of starting up a tax-free religion called, "The Church of the Latter Day DaVinci's".

Dammit, all of my dreams shot down in flames because my god has turned out to be a friggin' imposter.

*lights a match to all of her office wall hanging prints of DaVinci's works*
edit on 5-2-2012 by CranialSponge because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 5 2012 @ 09:11 AM
reply to post by ipsedixit

I think many will agree that the most important part is that their idea got through, and the quality of the drawing is a crucial factor in this. That said, I agree with OccamsRazor04, Da Vinci's version is far superior in every way. I'd wager most experts would say so too. I appreciate that you provided a picture of Ferrara's version for comparison, thanks!

posted on Feb, 5 2012 @ 09:32 AM
Though Leonardo recieved no formal education he had a keen mind in observing nature and also no doubt he would have studied many subjects that influenced his thinking. Artists inventors etc. He used sacred geometry also but is not the inventer of it - We build upon knowledge of the past and knowledge is not a static thing as each individual can interprete that knowledge and use it as tool to create new things.
Botticelli visited and saw ancient Roman wall paintings and his own figurative painting is influenced by what he saw - but one example.

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