I’ve added a page on the sidebar to the right which is simply a copy of the beginning of the first chapter of Vitruvius’ “Ten Books of Architecture”, in which he describes the proportions of the body and face in simple terms. For artists these fundamental comparisons are incredibly useful, worth committing to memory, in fact, because although there is much variety of different types of human bodies the model Vitruvius describes is roughly true, so we can check our drawings by using these simple measurements.

Vitruvius’ description of the proportions of the human body is posted here. Because there are a variety of translations of the books that are out of their copyright protection, the complete text of Vitruvius is available in a multitude of bindings on Amazon. It’s worth reading the whole thing, if only for the insight it gives into classical architecture and the influence it has had on Western civilization. Very cool.

Vitruvius on the human body

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