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Artistic Anatomy Paperback – February 1, 1986
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About the Author
Robern Beverly Hale (1901-1985), who ended his career as curator emeritus of American painting and sculpture at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, was an instructor of anatomy at the Art Students League for 40 years. His famous lectures, illustrated with life-size drawings that he created on the spot, have been compiled and edited by Terence Coyle and published in Master Class in Figure Drawing. Hale's other books include Drawing Lessons from the Great Masters and Anatomy Lessons from the Great Masters.
Top Customer Reviews
However, this book is nothing less than a classic, and any modern art anatomy book references Richer in one way or other -- just look at the bibliography of any anatomy book. The drawings at the end of the book are especially invaluable. Where else can you find 16 side by side drawings of the rotations of the arm? This alone is priceless in understanding how muscles ACTUALLY WORK rather than simply displaying front and profile pictures.
I would also recommend "Human Antomy for Artists" by Eliot Goldfinger. It is obviously largely based on Richer's work, but deeply expanded in that it covers every single muscle in detail along with photographs of models. However, you need both books, since Goldfinger does not have the case studies that Richer does (Goldfinger shows the muscles clinically and not in actual application) and is not the master illustrator that Richer was.
I used this book as my text in a formal class on artistic anatomy, in which we could select one or more of several artistic anatomy texts. Without the class to correct the confusion caused by the book, I would have been lost.
Although I was able to glean most of the necessary information from the text and illustrations, I was frequently confused by mislabeled diagrams and inconsistent translation of technical terms. A sharp-eyed editor would have caught most of these errors, including text that referred to the wrong plate numbers or the wrong figures within the plates. That a book could still be in print after 30 years -- Hale's translation is copyrighted 1971 -- without ever cleaning up such a mess in later editions is unconscionable.
Some of the problems, such as plate numbers mis-referenced in the text, could be bypassed to a large degree if the modern version of the book were not constrained by the format of the original. In the 1890s, technical constraints often led illustrations and typeset text to be printed on different presses, and thus to be grouped separately in the final book. Modern printing technology (as Edward Tufte has pointed out) is not so constrained, so the convention of sticking all the plates in the back is nothing more than an impediment to use. I found myself reading Richer/Hale with my left index finger as a live bookmark in the text section, and my right on the plate being referenced. Awkward to say the least.Read more ›
My highest recommendation, is to study this book, along with Frank Netter's medical anatomy book focusing on the osteology and myology sections that apply to artists, leaving behind the details that do not apply to artists. The illustrations in that book are second to none. Also, as many other good artistic anatomy books you can find, as the more you understand, the better.
Lastly, get a good poseable medical skeleton. Yes, save up for it, like I did. It is absolutely essential. A realistic sculptor of the human figure must know the body from the inside out. Pictures alone in books are not enough. You must see the structure of the body in the round.
Then I reccommend getting Bruno Lucchesi's "Modelling the Figure in Clay, A Sculptors Guide to Anatomy". Do the exercises using this book , your skeleton as a model, putting on the bones and muscles, one by one. This is a spectacular learning experience to build your own ecorche (flayed) figure.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I bought this book for my figure drawing class and I found it very helpful when trying to draw the human form/figure for the first time.Published 6 months ago by Kell Lane
Every artist should buy this and laminate the photos and sculpt from those pages!Published 8 months ago by Patrice Dale
A classic in the field. Richer is well known for the clarity and beauty of his illustrations and the depth of information in his text. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Allana M Benham
Book supplements and complements if you're taking Life Drawing. Remember this is built more of a textbook so expect a lot of writing and note taking. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Edgar Fematt