Saturday, November 8, 2008

Les proportions du Corps Humain, Measurées sur les Plus Belles Figures de l'Antiquité

There is a copy of Gérard Audran's famous book on human proportion for sale on Ebay.

Les Proportions du Corps Humain, Measurées sur les Plus Belles Figures de l'Antiquité, Paris : G. Audran, 1683. 30 plates in all. The copy on Ebay has 25.

Gerard Audran was the third son of Claude Audran. He learned the practives of engraving from his father then went to Paris to perfect his craft, becoming the most celebrated of French engravers. He worked engraving versions of master paintings of the time, and was appointed engraver to the king, Louis XIV. He made engravings of several of Le Brun's works including "Constantine's Battle with Maxentius," "Triumph," and the "Battles of Alexander."

You can search for a copy yourself at Use the keywords, Gerard Audran, or Proportions du Corps Humain.

From a description at Abebooks, bookseller Librería Comellas: "... Gerard Lyons Audran (1640-1703). Of a family of engravers, a friend of painter
Lebrun, Audran stayed in Rome where he studied design at
from the ancient art and heads-of works of masters
Italian. Recalled in France by Colbert, he was appointed
writer and resident of the king and joined the Academy which he became adviser in 1681. He is the author of
Many prints which made famous throughout Europe. 'Les Proportions du Corps Humain' was translated into several languages and reprinted in France until the 1900s.

Another description from Abebooks, bookseller Roger Gaskell: "The best guide to human proportion for the use of artists which had appeared up to this time, according to Cicognara, based on detailed measurements classical sculpture. As Dürer had done before, Audran wants to provide a simple way to obtain harmonious proportions in representations of the human figure. Gérard Audran was one of the most accomplished engravers of his generation. His engravings here, see to great advantage in fine strong impressions, are in bold black lines in the first 26 plates of measured drawings. The last four are cross-hatched, two of facial features and two of expressions after 'R. Urbin' (i.e. Charles Le Brun?) "

This book has detailed measurements of classical statuary and was in general use as a basis for study of anatomy by art students in the time before the wide use of models. The following are several examples of student drawings from 1908.

For an ebook about human proportions, see The Art Student's Guide to the Proportions of the Human Form. Also available as a printed book at

Link to 3 pages from l'encyclopédie Quillet from 1953 including: Dessin géométrique,Dessin en perspective, and Le corps humain, les attitudes et les mouvements - l'homme, le mouvement, la tête; proportions du corps humain, tête, expressions, draperies. (The human body, attitude and movement the man, movement, head proportions of the human body, head, expressions, draperies.)

Other posts on the proportions of the human body - search the posts for others:

Figure Drawing: The Proportions of the Members in a Human Body

Figure Drawing: Les proportions du corps humain, measurées sur les plus belles figures de l'antiquité

Figure Drawing: The Art Student's Guide to the Proportions of the Human Form

Figure Drawing: Human Anatomy for Artists and Drawing Proportions of the Human Body

Figure Drawing: The Sculptor and Art Student's Guide to the Proportions of the Human Form - Now available as a printed book

Search for all posts about Proportions.
Search for all posts about Human Proportions.

Dessins de sculpteurs : Tome 1, Troisièmes Rencontres Internationales du Salon du Dessin

Les canons du corps humain au XIXe siècle : L'art et la règle

Méthode pour apprendre le dessein... enrichie de 100 planches représentant différentes parties du corps humain d'après Raphaël et les autres grands maîtres, plusieurs figures académiques dessinées d'après nature par M. Cochin, les proportions et les mesures des plus beaux antiques qui se voient en Italie et quelques études d'animaux et de paysage, par Charles-Antoine Jombert

Gerard Audran's The Proportions of the Human BodyGerard Audran's The Proportions of the Human Body

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