Thursday, December 31, 2009

Hans Thoma - figure paintings


Adam und Eva, Frülingsreiter, Zwei Jünglingen am Wasser

Hans Thoma grew up in the village of Bernau in the Black Forrest. In 1853 he went to Basel. He apprenticed first in lithography, then switched to painting.  Read More.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Eric Beddows Illustrator

Ken Nutt, who creates illustrations under the name Eric Beddows bought a copy of The Art Student's Guide to the Proportions of the Human Form. So I emailed him to ask him why, since he didn't seem to need any improvement in his drawings. He illustrated Ursula K. Le Guin's Changing Planes which is especially cool, because she has always been a favorite of mine. Here is a link to some of his illustrations for that book on her website: Changing Planes - Ursula K. Le Guin, Illustrations: Eric Beddows.

Turns out the tables of human proportions were useful to him in a new project. Here's what he had to say,

"I am currently writing and illustrating a fantasy trilogy that involves characters of all ages as well as horses and a number of other animals. I needed some absolute measurements for the children, adults and animals in my story so that I could coordinate the figures in the illustrations. Although I have a lot of standard anatomy texts, I wasn’t having much luck with measurements until I discovered your wonderful site."

He was kind enough to share some works in progress:

A link to his list of exhibitions:  Ken Nutt.

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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Razas Humanas - Antonio J. Bastinos, editor and publisher

Antonio J. Bastinos was an editor and publisher of children's instruction books. From what I can find they are almost too numerous to mention.

His books were characterized by their many illustrations, many in color. Some other prints of marine life are on sale at the George Glazer Gallery.

Here is a partial list of Spanish titles and their English translation.

You can see most of them at or at AbeBooks Spain.

Los Albores De La Vida - The dawn of life
Maravillas Italianas - Italian Wonders
Panorama. Nuevo libro manuscrito que trata de la naturaleza y la civilizacion. Redactado e ilustrado por Julian Bastinos - Panorama. New book manuscript that deals with the nature and civilization. Written and illustrated by Julian Bastino
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Anton Maria Zanetti - Delle Antiche Statue Greche E Romane

Prints from Anton Maris Zanetti's Delle Antiche Statue Greche E Romane

Bacco ed un Fauno, Castore o Polluce, Esculapio

The complete book as a pdf is at the University of Heildelberg Digital Library.

Count Antonio Maria Zanetti (1680–1757) was a Venetian artist and art critic, an engraver and connoisseur, and a collector of engraved gems both Greco-Roman and modern, which he published lavishly, in the form of A.F. Gori's Le gemme antiche di Anton Maria Zanetti (1750), illustrated with eighty plates of engravings from his own drawings. Read more at Wikipedia

Several pages are for sale on Ebay. Click here to see them for sale on Ebay.

Lo Statuario pubblico della Serenissima: Due secoli di collezionismo di antichita : 1596-1797 (Italian Edition)

Another post about prints of antique statuary: Le Pitture Antiche D'Ercolano

Raccolta di Statue Antiche e Moderne 


Bacchus left, Silenius right.


Giove Ammone (Jupiter), Musa o altra Deita, Musa o Venere Genitrice,.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Chinese Artist Yang Fei-Yun

Chinese figure artist Yang Fei-Yun usually paints his wife. Here's a link to an article from ChinaDaily that says the crowds at his art show recognized her first because of the paintings when they entered.

Artnet link.

The University Museum and Art Gallery in Hong Kong link.

Yachou Gallery.

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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Early American Figure painting

For those people who think that the Asian Painting factories of the 21st century are some new development, here is evidence that the art world doesn't change much.

C. Kramer painted these two versions of this nude painting and probably painted many more.

The seller, Edgar L. Owen, (they are a bargain, by the way) lists the paintings as originating in the early 20th century but to me they look like either eighteenth century American figure painting or nineteenth century American figure painting.

Image from the blog Journey to Perplexity.

Early American Painting

One Hundred Early American Paintings

American Tradition in PaintingAmerican Tradition in Painting

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Proportions of the Human Body - Carl Schmidt's Method

From The Proportions of the Human Figure, According to a New Canon, for Practical Use ... By William Wetmore Story, American Sculptor. A printed copy is available at The Proportions Of The Human Figure: According To A New Canon, For Practical Use (1864)

"Other methods of proportion have been suggested, and argued with elaboration and ingenuity, which differ essentially from these arbitrary schemes of measurement, and are scientific and geometric in character. Among these may be mentioned the systems of Carl Schmidt, C. G. Carus, A. Zeising (another reference to Zeising in Proportion: science, philosophy, architecture By Richard Padovan), D. E. Hay, and John Gibson."

"Mr. Schmidt proposes a scheme founded upon the skeleton. He draws a line, a b, from the bottom of the spine (os cocygis) to the top of the spine, where it joins the skull. This he divides into four parts, the first of which establishes the navel, (#) the second, the top of the ribs; the third, the middle point of the sternum (z); the fourth, the end of neck where it joins the skull (a).
Upon this line a b he constructs his proportions in this wise ;—through the third point {z) he draws a horizontal line (c d) equal to | a b, intersected by a b into two equal parts (c d), showing the os humerus. At the base of the line a b he draws another horizontal line (e f) — \ a b, and divided thereby into two equal parts, and showing the thigh heads. He then draws diagonal lines from the opposite points of c d and e f, so as to cross each other
From c and d above he draws two lines diagonally crossing at a, the fourth division of a b, extending it beyond that half its length, and of this surplus making a diamond or square, set edgeways on the top of a, and this is the head of the figure.
He then draws a line (z g) parallel to a c; and from the point g, representing the nipple, draws one line to e (the right hip) and one to / (the left hip). This first line is the length from the hip to the knee, and the second the length from the knee to the ankle.
From c he then draws a line to h (the left nipple), and this is the length of the upper arm to the elbow ; from g to x (i. e., from the nipple to the navel) he again draws a line, and this is the measure of the fore-arm to the wrist, and x e=hand.
The accompanying diagram will give a clearer notion of this system than any explanation."

This was the method used by Joseph Meyer's in his encyclopedia Meyers Konversations-Lexikon.

Prof. Dr. Carl Heinrich Stratz used a nearly identical method of describing the proportions of the female in his 1911 book Die Rassenschoenheit des Weibes. Some examples from the b ook are at the Czech website: Vzpřímené postavení.

He was "one of the first researchers in growth and development. After 1900 he became more and more engaged in observations of the child's development from the new-born to the adolescent. His publications, especially his graphs and pictures of morphological changes in the childs body and the signs of puberty, have the following years deeply influenced our knowledge on "orthology" within the medical problems of youth." - H. Grimm, Arztl Jugendkd. 1979 Jun;70(3):177-92.

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