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Durer, Albrecht.

Vier Bucher von menschlicher Proportion.

Nurnberg, Hieronymus Formschneider for Durer's widow, 31 Oct., 1528.
First edition of Durer's famous treatise on artistic anatomy, containing 142 woodcuts by him showing human figures of varying height and girth in different postures; all with their proper measurements and porportions.

This book on human proportions was first published after Durer's death and contains an elegy by his friend Pirckheimer. According to Heller: "These proportions are the most extensive work Durer composed and, according to the manuscript in Dresden, it is said to have been his first work, which already had been completed in 1523, but was not issued before his death."

Written, designed and illustrated by Durer, this work is notable for its extraordinary series of anthropometrical woodcuts. The first two books deal with the proper proportions of the human form; the third changes the proportions according to mathematical rules, giving examples of extremely fat and thin figures, while the last book depicts the human figure in motion and treats of foreshortennings. Durer's work is the first attempt to apply anthropometry to aesthetics. The woodcuts represent the first attempt to employ cross-hatching to depict shades and shadows in wood engraving. (Morton's Medical Bibliography, Fifth Edition, Edited by Jeremy M. Norman).

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