figure drawings

Figure Drawing

Female Form

Instruction in Art

by Ben Pinchot with drawings by George B. Bridgeman

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A printed copy is available at

Drawing the Female Form

Female Form

This book of photographs by Ben Pinchot published in 1935 has 32 photographs illustrating the figure in various active poses.

From the introduction:

There are many books extant that deal with the human figure portrayed photographically as well as graphically. And each publishing season finds a fresh series thrown into the market. So many volumes are typographically and artistically engaging, but with that perfection of beauty their purpose appears to end. Most of them are collected from diverse sources (and therefore lack uniformity of creation) and are usually without preconceived purpose or unity of contents. For the most part, their very beauty precludes any utilitarian features.

This is especially true of photographic compilations. While many more of the books limited to graphic depictions have a basic idea for their conception, theí are sadly lacking in authentic life and vitality. It has been our aim, and hope, to ideally combine the sharp reality of a photograph and the illuminating anti helpful fragments of a drawing and thus produce a volume that will have captured the outstanding features of both arts.

This collection is dedicated primarily to the beginner and the student who must learn to work from a living model, yet cannot afford the mounting expense of retaining one for daily use.

Every successful artist has spent the greater portion of his creative years working from a model. No matter how profound his knowledge of anatomy, no matter how skilled and artful his memory may be in its application of the constructive elements of the human figure, he achieves the consummate touch, the ultimate authenticity of the great master by working directly from life.

The progressive drawings for this series were done by George B. Bridgman, whose works on anatomy have become classic references for the art students.

The photographs of the female form were posed by Desha, the famous dancer. Her flexible and pliant body, her uncannily intuitive knowledge of poses, and her experience in modeling for many of our famous artists and sculptors have made her an ideal subject for this type of photograph. The male studies were posed by Jean Myrio, the French dancer, who was instrumental in introducing the adagio type of dance on the continent some years ago.

An original edition is available at FEMALE FORM. With Analytical Drawings by George B. Bridgman

Wikipedia entry for Desha Delteil:

Desha Delteil (1892­1965) was an American dancer and artists' model.

She was born in Yugoslavia and studied under Michel Fokine, eventually becoming first dancer in his company. In 1920 she appeared in a solo short movie, "The Bubble," of a young girl dancing with a balloon, and was an uncredited cabaret dancer in the 1924 motion picture "Isn't Life Wonderful." A few years later, her "bubble dance" in the 1929 Hollywood musical "Glorifying the American Girl" made her well known. In the 1930s she and Jean Myrio, another classically trained dancer, performed at number of nightclubs in Paris and London, and their dance interpretation of George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" at the Kit-Cat Club was recorded in a Pathé motion picture review.

In 1916, Desha was hired to pose for sculptor Harriet Whitney Frishmuth and modeled for several of Frishmth's female bronzes, one of which Frishmuth entitled Desha. She became Frishmuth's favorite model, posing not only for a number of her best pieces but also for her studio art classes. She is known to have posed for The Vine and Roses of Yesterday, and is presumed to have posed for The Hunt based on similarities of form and figure. [1] Delteil modeled for other artists as well, being highly valued for her ability to hold difficult poses for extended periods.

IMDB entry for Desha Delteil

Blog Post about Harriet Whitney Frishmuth's sculpture, "The Vine" which Desha Delteil posed for by Claudia at Magnificent Splendor

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