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Artistic Anatomy (Practical Art Books) [Paperback]

Paul Richer , Robert Beverly Hale
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: 16.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

3 Jan 1998 Practical Art Books
Artistic Anatomy is widely acknowledged to be the greatest book of its kind since the Renaissance. The original French edition, now a rare collector's item, was published in 1889 and was probably used as a resource by Renoir, Braque, Degas, Bazille, and many others. The English-language edition, first published 35 years ago, brings together the nineteenth century's greatest teacher of artistic anatomy, Paul Richer, and the twentieth century's most renowned teacher of anatomy and figure drawing, Robert Beverly Hale, who translated and edited the book for the modern reader. Now Watson-Guptill is proud to reissue this dynamic classic with an anniversary sticker, sure to inspire drawing students well into our century.

Frequently Bought Together

Artistic Anatomy (Practical Art Books) + Atlas of Human Anatomy for the Artist (Galaxy Books) + Anatomy for the Artist
Price For All Three: 46.98

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Watson-Guptill Publications Inc.,U.S.; 35 Rep Anv edition (3 Jan 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0823002977
  • ISBN-13: 978-0823002979
  • Product Dimensions: 30.2 x 22.6 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 59,251 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Dr. Paul Richer (1849-1933), a distinguished artist and scientist, was a professor of creative anatomy at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris and a member of the city's Institute of Medicine. 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."

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
I feel sure that it is not necessary for me to explain here why studying anatomy is important for all painters or sculptors who have to recreate all the varied aspects of the human figure in their work. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A 11 Oct 2005
Richer's celebrated book is not necessarily an easy read but it does make for some very rewarding study. The front section of the book contains the discussion of the diagrams in the back, and is divided into sections according to layer (bones, muscles, veins etc.), which are themselves divided into sections according to body area (head, trunk, lower limbs etc.)There is also a further section on the body with weight shift. The anatomical diagrams are labelled in Latin and can look a little daunting a first, but could be unravelled and learnt more easily by someone who is prepared to learn artistic anatomy by copying some of the very beautiful diagrams. The book is concerned in the main with the ideal male body, but there is some reference to female anatomy in places. The age of the book explains the curious airbrushing of the genitals and absence of discussion on the anatomy of the pubic region. Nonetheless, a very comprhensive and beautifully illustrated book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars essential reference 11 May 2014
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awesome reference book for any life drawing projects. detailed images and text to support makes it clear and assists in highlighting anatomical indications in life drawing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars 100% Must-Have book. 10 Nov 2013
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If you're interested in learning human anatomy for drawing or sculpting or to simply learn how beautifully constructed is our body then this book should be #1 in your list.
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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  40 reviews
60 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a MUST HAVE book 2 Oct 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
This is a MUST HAVE book for anatomy, and I have taken 2 anatomy classes in art college where this is the only required reading. Yes, the previous reviewer is correct in that labels are incorrect(though only a few) and that it is bewildering why the text and drawings are separated into two parts.
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.
57 of 61 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Difficult to use and riddled with editorial errors 8 May 2000
By E.J.Barnes - Published on Amazon.com
Robert Beverly Hale of Columbia University not only edited, but translated this work by Dr. Paul Richer, which was apparently advanced for its time. The same cannot be said today, even though the human body has not changed much in 100 years.
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.
Richer also omits illustrating several bones in the skeletal section, either showing them later when describing the muscles, as for the hyoid bone in the throat, or mentioning them only in the text, as for the smallest bones on the undersides of the thumb and big toe. Richer's illustrations of the bones and muscles of the hand are of insufficient integration and detail. Hale, reverent as always towards Richer's plates, did not see fit to address any of these shortcomings by adding any new illustrations of his own.
Finally, readers sensitive to how racial differences in the human body were regarded by late 19th century Europeans might want to either avoid Richer, or view his remarks as an unscientific historical curiosity. Stephen Jay Gould has written on "The Mismeasure of Man," and in Richer we see an example of this mindset, the obsession with measuring the human body with an eye to racial categorization. How long is the Negro humerus -- when you don't account for regional differences within the category of "Negro"?
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On Drawing Men and Women!!! 10 Jun 2005
By Siju Thomas - Published on Amazon.com
I would like to say something to add to what my fellow reviewers have said.I feel that if you study male-anatomy and you become good at it,you will be able to easily draw women,and the reverse is not true,because most normal women are predisposed to not have much of the musculature or bone structure visible outside because of fat deposit patterns.(atheletes being exceptions)Anatomy of the male and the female is a matter of proportional differences in various parts and a dozen books are available about the subject,And Dr.Richer was trying to take on the subject of morphology which is very important as an approach.And there is no one book to rule them all ,there have been great masters and teachers in the last few hundred years and each had something to say or teach,you can either look at their work or read their books to see the same.I think a lot of width of thinking is required to develop a strong understanding of Anatomy and we are not likely to find it in one book.This book is a must in a collection which should also include Robert Reverly Hale ,Hogarth,Works of Michelangelo,Leonardo,and some current Masters like John Raynes and Glenn Vilppu.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars If you want to learn how to draw men this is a superb book. 16 Aug 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
I have read many anatomy books, this book had good illustrations, but never the less it did no help me much on learning how to draw the female body, the book did not to deem it as important as the male body.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a classic for serious figurative sculptors 28 Aug 2006
By ChristineA - Published on Amazon.com
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This book was used as one of two texts in my art school figure study class included in our school portfolio of supplies. It is also a text used in an ecorche course at another art school.

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.
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