Artistic Anatomy

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5 Questions

What is the basic unit of measurement in modern figure drawing?

The 'head'

What did academic art of the nineteenth century demand in relation to body proportions?

Close adherence to reference metrics

What did some artists in the early twentieth century do in relation to the reference metrics for body proportions?

Rejected those constraints and consciously mutated them

What is the study of artistic anatomy, which explores the relation of the elements of the human body to each other and to the whole, known as?

Body proportions

What is the range within which human proportions generally fit, despite subtle differences between individuals?

A fairly standard range

Study Notes

Figure Drawing and Body Proportions

  • The basic unit of measurement in modern figure drawing is the "head", with the body divided into 7-8 heads in height.

Academic Art and Body Proportions

  • In the 19th century, academic art demanded that body proportions adhered to the classical ideals, where the body was divided into 7-8 heads in height, with the navel at 2 heads from the sole of the foot.

Twentieth-Century Artists and Body Proportions

  • Some artists in the early 20th century rejected the classical ideals and explored new ways of representing the human body, using alternative reference metrics for body proportions.

Artistic Anatomy

  • The study of artistic anatomy explores the relation of the elements of the human body to each other and to the whole, and is known as "anthropometry".

Human Proportions

  • Human proportions generally fit within a range, despite subtle differences between individuals, with the ratio of arm length to body height being around 3:5.

Test your knowledge of body proportions in art with this quiz! Explore the artistic anatomy and ratios used in depicting the human figure. See if you can identify the reference metrics and artistic canons of body proportion within different cultures.

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