As I already wrote in the review of Dynamic Anatomy by Burne Hogarth I am a big collector of anatomy books. While the Hogart’s anatomy was my first ever anatomy book from 20 years ago the Human Anatomy by Goldfinger is my most recent purchase. And I have to say, I was cursing myself for not buying it sooner as I found out it is the most detailed Anatomy Book for Artists I have ever seen. (the reason might have been that this is quite an expensive book, selling for about 50 bucks)
While it doesn’t deal much with drawing whole figures, different poses or perspectives, its detailed illustrations are on a level with any medical anatomy text I have seen. Not only does it have illustrate all the muscles and muscle groups, contrary to most artist anatomy books that ignore most of them (I will return to this later in the review), it also has photos of perfectly ripped well muscled models accompanying every drawing. Section illustrations further help you to imagine the position of muscles in between each other as well as bones and joints, see the photos for examples. I find myself referring frequently to this book as I am drawing from other anatomies if I am not sure about some detail.
Recently I found an interesting thing as I was practicing my knowledge of torso anatomy on photos. Many anatomy books don’t show group of muscles called erectus spinae or sacrospinalis in the older literature. The reason is probably that these muscles are under the latissimus dorsi but they are quite visible especially on bodybouilders.
I did some research and compared diferent anatomies as far as these muscles go. (see the pictures). As far as the detailed information goes Bridgman is the worst, Hogarth is 2nd and Goldfinger is definitely the most detailed anatomy for artists. So if you are really into details and you want to make your life easier and not to use medical anatomy books as these frequently deal with many things we as an artists don’t really need and most of the times don’t provide photos of muscles with skin on top, be sure to get this one
+ definitely the most detailed and easy to understand anatomy book for artists comparable and even exceeding medical anatomy books
- high price tag
You can buy this book on Amazon.com:
Last time I checked it cost $51.20
The power of the image of the nude–the expressivity of the flesh–has inspired artists from the beginning. An understanding of human form is essential for artists to be able to express themselves with the figure. Anatomy makes the figure. Human Anatomy for Artists: The Elements of Form is the definitive analytical work on the anatomy of the human figure.
No longer will working artists have to search high and low to find the information they need. In this, the most up-to-date and fully illustrated guide available, Eliot Goldfinger–sculptor, illustrator, scientific model-maker, and lecturer on anatomy–presents a single, all-inclusive reference to human form, capturing everything artists need in one convenient volume. Five years in the making, and featuring hundreds of photos and illustrations, this guide offers more views of each bone and muscle than any other book ever published: every structure that creates or influences surface form is individually illustrated in clear, carefully lit photographs and meticulous drawings.
Informed by the detailed study of both live models and cadavers, it includes numerous unique presentations of surface structures–such as fat pads, veins, and genitalia–and of some muscles never before photographed. In addition, numerous cross sections, made with reference to CT scans, magnetic resonance imaging, and cut cadavers, trace the forms of all body regions and individual muscles. Information on each structure is placed on facing pages for ease of reference, and the attractive two-color format uses red ink to direct readers rapidly to important points and areas. Finally, an invaluable chapter on the artistic development of basic forms shows in a series of sculptures the evolution of the figure, head, and hands from basic axes and volumes to more complex organic shapes. This feature helps place the details of anatomy within the overall context of the figure.
Certain to become the standard reference in the field, Human Anatomy for Artists will be indispensable to artists and art students, as well as art historians. It will also be a useful aid for physical and dance therapists, athletes and their trainers, bodybuilders, and anyone concerned with the external form of the human body. With the renewed interest in figurative art today, this will be an especially welcome volume.
About the Author
Eliot Goldfinger, a renowned sculptor and illustrator, developed the anatomy program at The New York Academy of Art and has been an instructor at The Art Student’s League in New York City.
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