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The Art Student's Guide to the Bones and Muscles of the Human Body
and Lessons on Foreshortening

By Dr. Johann Gottfried Schadow

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The Art Student's Guide to the Bones and Muscles of the Human Body
and Lessons on Foreshortening

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In Thirty Plates for Use at the Royal Academy of Arts
by Dr. Johann Gottfried Schadow
Originally Titled
Lehre von den Knochen und Muskeln
von den
Verhaeltnissen des Menschlichen Koerpers
und von den Verkuerzungen

From an edition Published in 1892
Based on Dr. Schadow's original plates from 1830.

30 plates plus a 25 page introduction and treatise.

Table 1, the male skeleton from the front.
Table 2, same from the back side.
Table 3, the same in profile.
Table 4, the female skeleton.
Table 5, the skull in natural size in face and profile.
Table 6, the hand, as well as from inside and outside.
Table 7,The foot, as well as from the front, top, inside and out.
Table 8, the names of the bones.
Table 9, all the male character, with the first layer of musles.
Table 10, likewise from the back side.
Table 11, likewise in profile.
Table 12, the entire male figure from the front, showing the smooth muscles of the second layer.
Table 13, likewise from the back side.
Table 14, the head in natural size in face and profile with the first layer of muscles.
Table 15, the hand, from inside and outside.
Table 16, the foot, as well as from the front and in profile.
Table 17, the names of the muscles.
Table 18, the ratio of the human head, hand and foot in different age and gender.
Table 19, the ratio of ideal heads and antique portraits.
Table 20, Descriptive text of the panels 18 and 19.
Table 21, the main conditions of the male figure from the front, profile and from the back.
Tables 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, heads of the child, the woman and the man after Albrecht Durer's procedure for foreshortening.
Table 28, a male head after J. Cousins method foreshortened.
Tables 29, 30, Foreshortened profiles.

From a webpage by P. Brad Parker

Royal Prussian Academy of Arts, Berlin Königlich-Preußische Akademie der Künste,

The Academy started in 1690 to 1697 based on the Paris Academy education system, the building was designed by the architect Johann Arnold Nering, and was located on Unter den Linden Strasse, in 1743 a fire destroyed the Academy. The Academy was primarily under the influence of the Dutch school of art. The last Fleming was Bernhardt Rode as Director of the Academy in 1783. In 1786 the building was restored, and the Academy refurnished with plaster casts, engravings, and drawings. A change of the education system was established by Daniel Nicholas Chodowiecki in 1786 as director, and then by Gottfried Schadow 1816. Gottfried Schadow as director brought in an expanded antique cast collection, as well as setting up the Rome Prize. In 1786 was also the first public exhibition of art in Prussia. This date was the institution of the Age of Enlightenment under Frederich Wilhelm II for the modernization of Prussia. Kaiser (Emperor) Wilhelm II supported traditions of European art that evolved from the influence of Greek antique, and refused the degenerate art of the modern. His main counsel was the painter, and Director of the Academy, Anton von Werner (1843-1915). Relevant with this period of art training, and production was the installment of the The Pergamon Altar, and further extensive Greek Hellenistic sculpture during then Wilhelminian Germany.

From History and bibliography of Artistic Anatomy By Boris Röhrl

"During the first half of the century, lessons at the academies were organized according to French patterns but closer to the methods of the 18th century, thus more modern didactics could not have been understood, like the morphology of Gerdy which appeared in a German translation in 1830. The drawing of anatomical preparations and attending demonstrations in anatomical theatre were still compulsory. Artistic anatomy was a fixed part of the curriculum at the great academies in Munich, Dusseldorf, Berlin and Dresden, at which chairs for artistic anatomy were also founded. New books were mainly written by teachers at the institues.

Old fashioned ways of teaching, such as copying of anatomical patterns depicting single bones, were heavily attacked by adherents of the Romantic movement. Although the Romantics had censured the academies, their criticism was not targeted at a total abolition of the old system, but on an adjustment of lectures to a Western European level. From 1830 onwards, teaching methods began quickly to change towards a medical direction. The publication of teaching manuals was strongly encouraged, because it was hoped that Germany would overtake the French example and the predominance of French books - an attempt that never succeeded.

One of the first remarkable German publications of the 19th century was initiated by the director of the Dusseldorf academy, Gottfried Schadow, who edited a folio sized atlas with figures from Albinus in 1830. His atlas on proportions, printed four years later, entitled Policlet, was more successful and was re-printed six times. Copies from this work are still used in modern anatomies. Schadow tried to reform the curriculum at the academy in Dusseldorf, which was later regarded as the leading German art school, around the middle of the century."

From Studies in Western Art No. 2 - Special Issue: Art Academies:

Miyuki Ozeki

The History of the Kuenigliche Akademie der Kuenste zu Berlin

The Royal Academy of the Arts in Berlin was, in 1696, the third public art academy to be founded in Europe, after Rome and Paris. However throughout the 18th century it was no more than a small private school of little importance. Only after two reforms executed about 1800 was it enlivened and reborn as the most modern institution for art education in German-speaking countries. While the first refom since 1786 was led by the teachers and concerned the methodology of teaching art based on neo-classical asthetics, the second reform of 1809 was instigated by ministers and aimed at reorganizing the whole cultural administration in Prussia. With the foundation of a ministry for culture the academy achieved its independence from the unstable patronage of the monarchy, enabling its continuous development under the initiative of the director Gottfried Schadow. But its mechanical and overloaded teaching curriculum gradually estranged its pupils . By introducing a "Meisterklasse (master course)" at the Duesseldorfer academy Wilhelm Schadow extended the horizon of art education. However, he simultaneously disclosed its duality : Is art democratic enough to be achieved by the educational systems offered by the art schools? Or does art only derive from the genius of an individual person? The separation of the educational department from the Berliner academy in the year 1875, as a result of which the Hochschule der Kuenste was founded, symbolizes the contradictory task of an art academy which originally started as a liberal society of free artists and ended as an art school that regulated the artistic development of the individual.

Additional information at my Blog: Figure Drawing, The Art Student's Guide to the Bones and Muscles of the Human Body.

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The Art Student's Guide to the Bones and Muscles of the Human Body and Lessons on Foreshortening is available as a download from, and as a printed book from

Johann Gottfried Schadow was a talented neo-classical sculptor working in Berlin in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. He is famous for the quadriga on the Brandenburger Tor and the bust of Friederike von Preußen.

He became director of the Royal Academy of Art in Berlin in 1816 and this book is his first work dedicated to the instruction of his students in the basic anatomy of the human body. He used the prints of Albinus as a starting point and developed clear images of the bone structure and the muscular structure of the human body so that artists and sculptors would have a firm footing as they pursued their craft.

To these plates he added three plates on human proportions, a comparison of heads of youth and adult and old age, and a comparison of male and female, a second plate of typical proportions of the human form, and a third on the proportions of ideal form using classical Greek sculpture as the examples.

A third section is a careful analysis of the human head seen from various angles using the techniques of Albrecht Dürer, Jean Cousin and Johann Preissler. The book was a revelation to students when first published in 1830, was still in use enough to be republished in 1892 and I think today's students of the human form will find it newly valuable for today's art and new media.

Heads by Albrecht Dürer and Jean Cousin.

He expanded on the plates on proportion and added 27 more plates to make his second book for students titled in English The Sculptor and Art Student's Guide to the Proportions of the Human Form or in the original German, Atlas Zu Polyclet Oder Von Den Maassen Des Menschen Nach Dem Geschlechte Und Alter.

Books at

The Art Student's Guide to the Bones and Muscles of the Human Body: and Lessons on Foreshortening

The Art Student's Guide To The Proportions Of The Human Form

Kunstwerke und Kunstansichten: Ein Quellenwerk zur Berliner Kunst- und Kulturgeschichte zwischen 1780-1845 (German Edition)

An example of the classical sculpture the Venus de Medici and Dr. Schadows analysis of it.

This last image is that of a student working in the atelier of Dr. Schadow drawn by the student Emil Bendeman, in 1836.

These antique sculptures are the ones Dr. Schadow used to develop his study of he proportions of ideal heads on Plate 19.






Venus Medicis

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Books by Johann Gottfried Schadow:

Lehre von den Knochen und Muskeln, von den Verhaltnissen des menschlichen Korpers und von dem Verkiirzen, In jo Tafeln zum Gebrauch bei der Akademie der Kiinste. Berlin, 1830. fol.

Polyclet oder von den Maassen des Menschen nach dem GescMechte und Alter mit Angabe der wirklichen Naturgrosse nach dem rheinlandischen Zollstocke. Berlin, 1834, 4°, and fol. With German and French text and 29 outline-plates.

Nationalphysiognomieen oder Beobachtungen uber den Unterschied der Gesichtsziige und die aussere Gestaltung des menschlichen Kopfes, Als Fortsetzung des Werkes von Petrus Camper, Berlin, 1835, 4° and fol., with German and French text and 29 outline-plates.

Atlas Zu Polyclet Oder Von Den Maassen Des Menschen Nach Dem Geschlechte Und Alter
The sculptor and art students' guide to the proportions of the human form
Polyclet;: An analysis of measurements and proportions of the human figure for artists and sculptors;

Wikipedia Deutschland
Bild Index Gottfried Schadow
Monuments in Berlin - Brandenburger Gate
Johann Gottfried Schadow (Klassiker der Karikatur)
Anmut und Schonheit: Schadows Prinzessinnengruppe und ihre Stellung in der Skulptur des Klassizismus
Johann Gottfried Schadow, 1764-1850, der Bildhauer
Johann Gottfried Schadow
The Qadriga Brandenburg Tor(gate) Berlin

Kunstschatze aus Gips More than 6000 reliefs and scultures including the princess-group of Johann Gottfried Schadow.

This new edition is copyright 2009, the original images in it are believed to be in the public domain based on their age and publishing date. If you have information to the contrary please email me:

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