Vitruvian Man by Leonardo
Vitruvian Man by Leonardo. Scan © Mark Harden, used by permission


(noun) - Proportion is a principle of art that describes the size, location or amount of one element to another (or to the whole) in a work. It has a great deal to do with the overall hamrony of an individual piece.

Think of Leonardo's Vitruvian Man (you know the guy: naked, inserted within a rectangle within a circle, arms outstretched, legs shown both together and spread, etc.) for a clear idea of just how much thought has gone into proper proportioning over the ages.

Pronunciation: pruh·por·shun

Examples: "There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion." - Francis Bacon