Founder of symmetry
Leonardo da Vinci studied Vitruvian’s De Architectura for Pacioli, written between 30 and 20 BC. and one of the most important works of construction and architecture. The theories described in this book are at the basis of the works and research of many mathematicians.
Marcus Vitruvius Pollio lived between about 85 and 20 BC and was a Roman soldier, architect and engineer. He wrote De Architectura libri decem: The architecture, in ten volumes. Vitruvius is also called “the first engineer” and his De Architectura is one of the most comprehensive source texts on engineering in Greco-Roman Antiquity.
The work is not only about architecture but also about the symbolic imitation of the order in nature. Vitruvius was - just as Leonardo da Vinci was centuries later - a homo universalis and according to Vitruvius an architect had to have a wide variety of knowledge, such as philosophy, physics, music, medicine, law and astronomy. Books three and four are about public religious buildings and the symmetry that goes with them.
The basis for this symmetry, according to Vitruvius, does not lie in a mirror image but in the correct proportion for both temples and the human body. This is what Leonardo da Vinci bases his drawing of the Homo ad circulum or Vitruvian Man on. Centuries later, it is also what inspired architect Le Corbusier to create The Modulor, a human measure for building design.
The famous Vitruvian Man, drawn by Leonardo da Vinci for Pacioli's De Architectura