Saturday, May 18, 2013

Fialetti's figure drawing books

For many centuries young artists have trained by drawing together from sculptures and diagrams. This etching by Odoardo Fialetti (1573-1638) shows apprentices copying casts in a painter's workshop.

In 1608 Fialetti produced a very early figure drawing manual called Tutte le parti del corpo hvmano diuiso in piu pezzi. (All parts of the human body divided into several pieces)

One diagram shows how to place the features on a foreshortened head.

 He also includes diagrams of difficult-to-draw details such as feet, ears, and hands.

According to Alexandra Greist, who wrote her dissertation on the topic, these instructional manuals are known as "libri da disegnare." "Libri da disegnare are groups of printed images that instruct in drawing the human body through a progression, whether by means of line-by-line instructions, following steps from outline to shaded, or building up the body from its individual features. Intended for both professional and amateur audiences, these printed sources were soon copied throughout Europe where they influenced drawing education for the next 400 years."


Keith Parker said...

It seems to be influencing art instruction books to this day. Most drawing books I've seen still follow a similar formula.

James Gunter said...

Hmmm. In the first image the apprentice in the foreground seems to barely have any feet, while in the last image the foot in the upper left of the picture has ginormous toes. Not sure I would've wanted to sign up (so to speak) for Fialetti's workshop!

I always enjoy your blog, whether the subject is about art, robots, or what-have-you. I check in every day to see what you post, unless I'm away painting for a few days - then I catch up with your blog when I get back.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Thank you for this, I downloaded it and it has many great illustrations. I always enjoy when an artist selects a particular theme or subject and follows it through.
... so much information!