Friday, January 2, 2009

The Proportions of the Members in a Human Body

This image is titled The Proportions of the Members in a Human Body it is Plates 2 and 3 from A Treatise on the Art of Painting in all its Branches by Gérard de Lairesse, (1640-1711).

The book from which this image is taken was published in 1817. It contains 70 Plates. A larger image is available at The University of Glasgow's website. Other editions were published in 1752, 1777 and 1778. Wikipedia article on Gérard de Lairesse.

You can search for a copy at Use the search terms "Treatise on the Art of Painting In All Its Branches." Originally published in Amsterdam it was titled, Het Groot Schilderboeck.

He made illustrations for Govert Bidloo's anatomical atlas Anatomia Humani Corporis, (Ontleding des menschelyken lichaams)and wrote another book, The principles of Design for the Curious Young Gentlemen and Ladies, who Study and Practice the Art of Drawing, Colouring and Japanning: or A New and Complete Drawing-Book; Introduction to drawing. This book was originally titled Grondlegginge der Teekenkons.

Both books were influential in the 18th century.

Govert Bidloo's work at the Stanford University Renaissance Body Project.

Images similar to the illustration for Anatomia Humani Corporis are on display at the National Institute of Health's website of its exhibit Dream Anatomy.

Link to the Metropolitan Museum site: Analytic Diagrams of Proportion and the Human Body: From L'idea della architettura universale.

How to Draw People at
How to Draw Proportions at

Other Posts:
Foreshortening - The Figure in Perspective
Female Proportions, Male Proportions.
The Female Form - Better Figure Drawing
Amazon, Doryphorus, and Diadumenos Sculptures.
Search for all posts about Proportions.
All posts about Human Proportions.

All posts about Female Proportions.

Art Models 4: Life Nude Photos for the Visual Arts (Art Models series)

The Art Models books are a modern update of the engraved patterns of human proportions and anatomy used by artists in the past. They use a series of models in the same pose with photos taken from different angles to provide the next best thing to having a live model to sketch from.

Art Models 3: Life Nude Photos for the Visual Arts (Art Models series) (No. 3)

Art Models 2: Life Nude Photos for the Visual Arts (Book & CD-ROM) (No. 2)

Art Models: Life Nudes for Drawing Painting and Sculpting

Samples from the art models books.

More samples here.

Classic Human Anatomy: The Artist's Guide to Form, Function, and Movement

A few more illustrations of human proportions:

From Three Books of Occult Philosophy (De occulta philosophia libri tres).

From a blog entry on La medida del hombre by Geometría Caníbal this entry which has examples from De occulta philosophia, by Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa.

And three more images from De Occulta Philosophia.

De Occulta Philosophia Libri Tres (Studies in the History of Christian Thought, Vol.48)

De Occulta Philosophia

Michelangelo Buonarroti - A male nude with proportions indicated, c.1515-20.

Link to another description of female proportions.

Cesare di Lorenzo Cesariano "Ideal proportions based on the human body, from 'Di Lucio Vitruvio Pollione de architectura a libri"

Vitruvii De Architectura Libri Decem

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

Proporçõs do Corpo Humano by Renato Silva blog entry at Desenhistas Autodidatas

The Art Student's Guide To The Proportions Of The Human FormHuman Proportions for ArtistsHUMAN PROPORTION WHEEL

This example of comparative male and female human proportions showing the human body divided into eight parts is for sale on Ebay Click here to see it for sale on Ebay.

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