Monday, September 29, 2008

How to Draw the Head

Petrus Camper (1769-1832) was a Dutch anatomist, anthropologist, sculptor and patron of the arts. He did pioneering work in comparative anatomy which we can use in learning how to draw the head.

He demonstrated the relationships between all organisms by a mechanical system he called metamorphosis.

He headed into controversy with a theory that the facial angle correlated with intelligence, extrapolating from various species, as the first plate illustrates. These plates are from: Dissertation sur les différences des traits du visage.

He is another example of the anatomists of his time who studied painting and drawing and illustrated all his own books. He also is an example of the thinking of the time in his effort to classify the races by some system. A German, Professor John Friedrich Blumenbach, emphasized skin color. Camper emphasized bone structure. Anthea Callen in The Spectacular Body: Science, Method, and Meaning in the Work of Degas, notes that theories of evolution predate both Darwin's Theory of Natural Selection and the 19th Century's Social Darwinism and go back to Thomas Hobbe's idea of competition as a fundamental social principal and that racism was prevalent in 17th century thinking. Camper was not alone in positing the Greek ideal in anatomy. (See The Sculptor and Art Student's Guide to the Proportions of the Human Form - By Dr. Johann Gottfried Schadow and Hieroglyphic or Greek Method of Life Drawing - By Adolphe Armand Braun.)

With any luck the events of this week will turn the page on the Hobbesian ideals and Social Darwinism.

Here is a link to a page on characture that refers to his work as it relates to drawing:
Corps idéal, imitation de la nature et caricature au XVIIIe et XIXe siècles. Quelques aspects des connexions entre sciences et arts. I think that is a more appropriate use of his studies than the misguided theories of intelligence.

This is a link to the complete book on the web from the Bibliothéque Interuniversitaire de Médicine et d'Ontologie - Collection de rééditions de textes anciens.

Camper, Petrus. Dissertation physique: sur les différences réelles que présentent les traits du visage chez les hommes de différents pays et de différents âges.

These plates are from the following chapters:

Quatrième partie. Sur les premiers principes à l'aide desquels on peut ébaucher une tête convenablement.

Chapitre premier. Sur l'ovale.

Chapitre second. Sur la méthode du triangle considérée comme moyen d'ébaucher une tête vue de profil.

Chapitre troisième. Sur une nouvelle manière de dessiner les têtes.

This is a page which takes Camper's work and turns the studies of relationships between organisms and the studies of aging into animations: Petrus Camper -Metamorphosis.

A page from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands which give a very positive biography:

A more critical page from Finland (Modern birth of racism): Modernin rasismin synty - Petrus Camper. He developed the so-called facial angle measurement. It is the angle formed by two lines. The one passing to the nose and upper lip the second along the line of the jaw and a parallelogram formed by a third line through the ear-hole.

A link to a page on the Missing link postulated by Marie Eugène François Thomas Dubois who also published a book about Camper that included a photo of his reconstruction of the "Missing Link" exhibited at the Paris World's Fair in 1900: Contributions to Zoology.

Facial Geometry: Graphic Facial Analysis for Forensic Artists

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Gautier d'Agoty's Anatomical Atlas

From a time when artists made great contributions to the understanding of human anatomy, a few more images and from Gautier d'Agoty's Anatomical Atlas and some links to further illustrations.

According to notes on the page by the Wellcome Library this was a family of artists who produced anatomical prints and paintings. The patriarch was Jacques-Fabien Gautier d'Agoty, born in 1717 and died around 1785. The prints are the most well known works of art both for their anatomical reference and for the manner in which they pushed the development of a color printing process similar to  mezzotint printing developed by Jakob Christoffel Le Blon.

He worked with the anatomists Pierre Tarin and Joseph-Guichard Duverney and had the help of his son Arnauld-Eloi Gautier d'Agoty in making the prints.
Links to other information:
Two of twelve anatomical paintings - Wellcome Library, London, U.K. He made 12 anatomical paintings which resemble but do not duplicate the images from the prints.
Rachael Kavita's blog about anatomy in art.
History and Bibliography of Anatomic Illustration in its Relation to Anatomic Science and the Graphic Arts. Ludwig Choulant.
The Creation of Color in Eighteenth Century Europe. Chapter about Jacques-Fabien Gautier, or Gautier d'Agoty.


Art Experts Website
Links to 30 websites about the history of anatomical knowledge  Intute: health and life sciences.
National Institute of Health Historical Anatomies of the Web.
Anatomie Des Parties De La Génération De L'homme Et De La Femme, Représentées Avec Leurs Couleurs Naturelles, Selon Le Nouvel Art, Jointe À ... Et Les Accouchements (French Edition)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Perspective Drawing

Everything you wanted to know about perspective drawing:
Perspective Seen from Different Points of View.

Drawing Aids to Perspective : 'Alberti's Veil' to today's 'Spectra Sketch', including Leon Battista Alberti's Grid.

Shepard Fairey Poster for Download

Here's an update: Shepard Fairey's original art for the poster is now in Washington's National Gallery. News story from The Independent.

Info on the inaugural poster: Also T-shirts, buttons, you name it. at theonline store and at The Presidential Inaugural website.

You can now download Sheppard Fairey's Obama Poster at his site: Or click on the small picture for a bigger version.

While you are there check out the Darfur benefit posters: Hope for Darfur Print Set

While you are thinking about it Register to Vote.

His web site tag line is "Propaganda Engineering," anyone doubting the power of images to influence for change should pay a visit.

His work is reminiscent both of the powerful posters produced in this country to promote public involvement in World War II and Soviet style posters.

Here is a blog about social action posters:

Wired has a blog entry about Sheppard Fairey: 'Obey' Street Artist Churns Out 'Hope' for Obama on the occasion of his San Francisco show, probably why new posters were showing up around town. He has a book out now too, E Pluribus Venom.

The image is everywhere during this presidential campaign. There are a few interesting sites to check out one at Flickr - Obama Street Art which has 254 members and 877 images uploaded to date- update January 17, 2009 398 members, 1552 images - and a scholarly investigation of the proliferation of Obama images at SemiObama.

Link to a story about the controversy about the use of the AP image. Art turns ugly in squabble over 'Hope'

Want to donate to the campaign?

Design for Obama website.

ObamaBats: A collection of 24 high-quality dingbats featuring Barack Obama and various design elements! This collection is completely free for download, upload, distribution, use and modification. Use these dingbats to start creating your own Obama paraphernalia today!

A typographic look back at the entire election cycle.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Methode Pour Apprendre Le Dessein

This book is mentioned in the description of the plates in The Sculptor and Art Student's Guide to the Proportions of the Human Form.

Published in 1791 By Charles-Antoine Jombert
 at Abebooks. Enter the search term "Charles-Antoine Jombert"

Other books by Jombert:

Architecture Moderne, ou l'Art de Bien Batir pour Toutes Sortes de Personnes.

Dictionnaire Portatif de la Ingénieur et Artilleur

La Gnomonique, ou l'on donne par un principe general la maniere de faire des cadrans sur toutes sortes de surfaces, & d'y tracer les heures astronomiques, babylonniennes & italiques, les arcs des signes, les cercles des hauteurs, les verticaux & les autres cercles de la sphere.

Here are some other interesting anatomy links:
Dream Anatomy, from Giornale Nuovo, a blog by Mister H.
Dream Anatomy, the Exhibit at the National Library of Medicine.

And an unusual book The Anatomie de d'Agoty by Gautier-D'Agoty  (in 5 folio volumes), the color plates fascinated the surrealists, and many copies were taken apart and the plates exhibited individually.

Anatomie de d'Agoty See copies at, enter the search term "d'Agoty"

Anatomical Atlas - Illustrative of The Structure of The Human Body.
A Treatise on Muscular Action - A Physiological, Theoretic and Practical Treatise on the Utility of the Science of Muscular Action for restoring the Power of the Limbs.

Methode Pour Apprendre Le Dessein (1755) (French Edition)
Methode Pour Apprendre Le Dessein (1755) (French Edition)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Bartolomeo Pinelli's Engravings of Dante's Inferno, Paradisio, and Purgatorio

There is a complete 3 volume set of of Bartolomeo Pinelli's Engravings of Dante's Inferno, Paradisio, and Purgatorio published in 1826 for sale on Ebay.

He was an unusually prolific artist, printmaker, painter, sculptor and draughtsman, issuing works on Italian costume, and contemporary and ancient Roman people, customs and monuments. 

He learned sculpture from his father and his works generally emphasized naturalness over the prevailing neo-clasical style of the time.

He studied at Accademia di San Luca in Rome and at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Bologna and was helped financially by  Pope Benedict XIV's nephew but turned his back on the traditional path of religious and history painting and sold his works to the public in cafes.

Most copies of this work are in library or museum collections, others have been taken apart and sold as individual prints.

Click here to see this item by Bartolomeo Pinelli for sale on Ebay.

Here is a wikipedia link.

A few more images by Bartolomeo Pinelli.

One of the costume engravings, Sardinian Costume.

And Women from Ciociaria near Subiaco.

Books in print:
Views in Rome
Twenty-seven etchings illustrative of Italian manners and costume
Events of the life of Massaroni,: An Italian bandit
The Revelations Of Don Quixote
Bartolomeo Pinelli: " er pittor de Trestevere : la vita e lopera
La Roma di Bartolomeo Pinelli (QuestItalia)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

How to Draw Hands, Feet, Arms, Legs and Anatomy

A few more drawings by Arthur Momand, cartoonist of the famous strip "Keeping up with the Joneses."

Click here to see these and other items by Arthur "Pop" Momand for sale on Ebay.

Wikipedia link to the phrase "keeping up with the Joneses.

More examples of drawings of hands at

Study of Arms and Hands
Study of hands, ear, legs, knees.

Study of arms and hand.

Shoulder, and arm.

Painted drawings of the bones of the hand Click here to see them for sale on Ebay

Print of the bones of the hand Click here to see them for sale on Ebay

Anatomy of the hand bones, muscles, circulation.

Other posts about drawing hands.


How to Draw Hands.

John Lizar - Anatomical Plates.

How to Draw Hands - Anatomical Plates in French Museums.

How to Draw Hands - John Sayer.

How to Draw a Hand - Thomas H. Maguire.


How to Draw Hands By Oliver Senior is available as an e-book at or out of orint editions are available at How To Draw HandsHow to Draw Hands: 2.

Draw Real Hands! (Discover Drawing Series)

Drawing Hands and Feet: Form, Proportions, Gestures and Actions (The Art of Drawing)

Drawing & Painting Hands & Feet


Examples of drawings of hands from plaster casts.

How to Draw People at
How to Draw Proportions at
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