Author(s): Hufschmidt HJ
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Abstract Taking anthropometric mean values of the European population as a standard, we examined some proportions in representative sculptural and pictorial works of art. We established that the classical antique sculptures and those of Michelangelo and his school conform very closely to the European norm. Mid-Italian wooden crucifixes of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries and early medieval European paintings of the Corpus Christi, on the other hand, display quite different proportions: exaggerated length of forearms, or torsos that are stunted in relationship to the legs. Proportions similar to these can be found in the art of the New Kingdom of the Egyptians, reflecting the physique of the Nubian population. We discussed the extent to which an artistic proportion is conditioned by style, imitation, racial aesthetic ideals, or anatomy of the ambient population.
This article was published in Arch Psychiatr Nervenkr (1970)
and referenced in Journal of Obesity & Weight Loss Therapy