The Tibetan Book of Proportions is an 18 century pattern book consisting of 36 ink drawings showing precise iconic and geometric guidelines for depicting Buddha and Bodhisattva figures. The geometric depictions reminds the Asian version to Leonado De Vinci drawings and sketches such as The Vitruvian Man
Written in Newari script with Tibetan numerals, the book was apparently produced in Nepal for use in Tibet. The concept of the ‘ideal image’ of the Buddha emerged during the Golden Age of Gupta rule, from the 4th to 6th century. As well as the proportions, other aspects of the depiction – such as number of teeth, colour of eyes, direction of hairs – became very important. The V&A have produced a good guide to the iconography of the Buddha, including the 32 Lakshanas or special bodily features.