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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Format: Hardcover|Change
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on 10 June 2012
This is a useful anatomy book to have on your shelf. There are drawings by the excellent Sarah Simblet, but a feature of this book is that a large proportion of the illustrations are photographs in both black and white and colour. There are some odd things about the book - a little too much emphasis on medical anatomy that doesn't really concern the artist (relating, perhaps, to the artist's academic interests). However, even as I write this I recall that I really enjoyed reading about the digestive system and plastic casts of the ventricles of the heart. Hence the five stars, because the unexpected elements of this are actually a pleasure. Another example is Simblet's own artwork towards the end, which I didn't much care for as an image, but found fascinating as a piece of work that is the result of her interest in anatomy. The overlays of bones drawn on tissue paper which go over photographs are very useful indeed, and I'm delighted to find that Victorian prudery seems finally to have died and there is a complete chapter on how to draw the genitals that takes this section of the body as seriously and straighforwardly as the rest. I notice one reviewer complaining that the models are all 'perfect' specimens and this is true, and I would have prefered a more interestingly varied group of models (such as one comes across in the life room). However, the choice of models does mean that the bones and musculature which form the substance of the text are well illustrated on live bodies. The text is very good, with clear explanations and is written by a practitioner who knows the sort of information that an artist needs. Of course you'll need other anatomy books but I'd put this as one of my top ten alongside classics like Beverley Hale (his Anatomy Lessons from the Great Masters is surely still indispensable?), Apesos (a favourite of mine), Raynes and of course Barcsay.
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on 14 March 2017
This is hands down the best book i have bought! I love the multi layered anatomy on opaque paper and the fact its full of scientific and historical facts! A must buy!!!
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on 18 May 2017
Amazing, fast delivery!
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on 11 August 2014
In medicine the study of anatomy is a prerequisite for the understanding of pathology. But however much the study of exquisite human anatomy appeals to the medical professional it can be cloyed by the disease processes that will often corrupt that anatomy. How refreshing to read a book that celebrates anatomy as the basis of the beauty of the human form in art, and to realise how human emotions are integral to those forms. As humans we are programmed to perceive the subliminal messages that the human form can impart and by understanding the bones and muscles that underlie the form the artist can better transmit the feelings that are interwoven in any image.

For the medical student or medical practitioner there is an intrinsic joy in the cadaver as “real” anatomy, whereas, for others, the perfection of the human form is most resplendent in art. This book by Sarah Simblet bridges what might be perceived as divergent professional perspectives to evince the conterminate joys of the study of anatomy and the study of art to produce a sum that is literally more than the parts. The book will enrich the experience of anatomy for all readers but especially for artists and for medical practitioners.

The innovative overlay of translucent maps of bones directly above photographs of the corresponding body regions are graphic teaching aids.

That muscles underlie the topological anatomy is obvious, but to see it represented in art is fascinating. The ten Masterworks that "dissect" the artist’s interpretation of the anatomy and pose are interpreted with regard to the emotions that the artist intended to illicit in the viewer.

The book is rounded off with 6 drawing classes for the different anatomical regions: head, ribcage, pelvis, hands, feet, and pelvis that will be instructive for both the artist and for the medical anatomical illustrator.

There are more than 250 specially commissioned photographs by John Davies in the book and along with 100 drawings it comprises a superlative training and educational aid, but most of all it encapsulates the beauty of anatomy in art and as art. It is a pleasure to behold.

Jim Young
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on 10 April 2009
The human body has been constantly seen throughout history as one of the most important artist influences to the modern world. This is perhaps arrogant on the part of human existence but it does highlight one thing; if you want to get noticed in the art world chances are you'll need to brush up on your human anatomy!

I bought this book as a reference for the human body as I have little interest in life drawing classes at my university (bizarre I know). The first thing that strikes you when you open the book is how high the presentation is. Black and white backgrounds contrast perfectly and cut out the figure shapes well which is a must for creating your own renditions on paper. Another great touch is the transparent paper drawings of bones and muscle structure which overlaps onto the figures.

In terms of content this book has over 250 pages of human anatomy photos and drawings. These are divided into specific chapters such as the spine, the head and hands and feet just to name a few. It really covers all the bases of the human body.

If I am to point out fault it is with the books apparent obsession of human perfection. Every single model in this book is pretty much the pinnacle of what human perfection is viewed as in society. You won't find any references for less 'anatomically gifted' individuals. On another note you won't find anatomy of more diverse age groups; most of the models are in their 20's to 40's.

Any arguments against this book are seemingly minor and it does exactly what it sets out to do which is to provide an in-depth look at the human body and all it's details. I highly recommend Anatomy for the Artist for any artists out there in need of a good human reference book. It's almost worth sneaking out of life drawings for.
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on 20 February 2015
Don't buy this book if you're just looking for naked bodies to copy from. Do buy this book if you want some practical visual guidance on drawing anatomically, with some splendid writing alongside, a nice 'reading/looking' experience.

Overall, this is a cracking book. I love it. Actually I covet it. It's just nice in many many ways. The paper also smells quite nice.

I realise it's probably better to just freeze frame porn if you want plain old nakedness. Anyway - buy this book, whatever the weather, because it's wonderful.
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on 5 May 2010
There is no other reference book that is as good as this. The book is huge, lots of pictures of anterior, exterior views of the various parts of the body, supplemented by drawings of the muscles on transparent pages placed on top of the relevant body part.

I just wish more people would make books like this. The other anatomy for artist books are either grainy pictures of nudes from the 70s or hideous drawings of badly proportioned naked people. I use this book and my wealth of reference collected from the net, all the other books for me are useless.
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on 15 August 2015
Super high quality, the photos, diagrams and transparent overlays make this book an amazing resource of the highest possible production quality. It gives clear, multiple views of all aspects of anatomy.
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on 11 July 2014
This is a reasonable all-rounder with plenty of interesting history and good scientific anatomy stuff. But all the models are young, toned and beautiful and don't represent the wide diversity of age and form that would be useful to serious artists. There are very good masterclasses, looking at famous paintings of the nude and deconstructing them. There's also a useful chapter on drawing the skeleton from different angles. The best bits, in my opinion, are the author's own drawings. She certainly knows her stuff.
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on 4 March 2017
Using this for my university course and it's very helpful, the book is great and has amazing details on the pages. For anyone studying art, anatomy, the body or figure, this is fantastic
Fast delivery and great to buy from. Thank you
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