Anatomy for the Artist

Anatomy for the Artist

By (author) Sarah Simblet , Photographs by John Davies


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In "Anatomy for the Artist" acclaimed artist and academic Sarah Simblet unveils the extraordinary construction of the human body and celebrates its continuing prominence in Western Art today. Using superb specially commissioned photographs of male and female models together with historical and contempory works of art and her own illustrations, Sarah shows us how to look inside the human frame to map its muscle groups skeletal strength balance poise and grace.Selected drawings superimposed over photographs reveal fascinating relationships between external appearance and internal structure. Six drawing classes guide the reader to see the human body afresh offering techniques and attitudes that imagiatively show how to observe and draw the skeleton, head, ribcage, pelvis, hands, and feet. By investigating ten Masterworks the author shows the knowledge and ideas of different artists across tie ranging from Holbein's "Christ Entombed" to Edward Hopper's "Hotel Room". Each masterclass presents a photographed model set in the same pose so that anatomical comparisons can be made. Understanding anatomy is often the key to an artist's understanding and interpretation of the body. This imaginative modern reference book will enhance the drawing and painting techniques of artists and every level.

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  • Hardback | 256 pages
  • 250 x 292 x 25mm | 1,578.49g
  • 28 Sep 2001
  • Dorling Kindersley Ltd
  • DK
  • London
  • English
  • 350 photographs, 150 illustrations
  • 0751334413
  • 9780751334418
  • 21,976

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Author Information

Sarah Simblet is an artist and academic specialising in anatomy. She has a studio in Oxford and holds the positions of Tutor in Drawing in the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, University of Oxford, and Visiting Lecturer in the Royal College of Art, London.

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Review text

Despite the glossy cover and presentation, this turns out to be a serious and thorough guide to the structures of the human body and how to represent them. Unlike most anatomical texts intended for artists which tend to rely on drawings alone, this book uses drawings and photographs of both male and female models to reveal, illustrate and explain the human form in detail. Beginning with a short history of the art of anatomy, Sarah Simblet covers - or rather uncovers - the systems of the body from the skeleton to the skin; each part of the body is then dealt with separately and the body is then looked at as a whole, both at rest and in movement. Innovative features in the book include the use of transparent overlays when dealing with individual parts of the body to show the skeletal and muscular features determining the outward form, and masterclasses explaining the way artists from Michelangelo to Bacon have chosen to deal with human anatomy. Finally, there are drawing classes where Simblet, who teaches at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, shows how she, as an artist, responds to the challenges of anatomical drawing. As well as being an unequivocally formal and academic work on anatomy, the book's appeal as a celebration of the human form should not be ignored. John Davis's specially commissioned photographs are dazzling and uncompromising studies of the naked body and, while Simblet's approach to the nude is broadly representational and ultra-accurate, there is a twist and edge to her work which makes it jump. A guide for artists and an artwork in itself. (Kirkus UK)

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