After the sculpture was finished and painted, the part was recarved, and the defective portion filled in with plaster, which, having since fallen off, furnishes us with this curious evidence of their practice.'
Turning now to the canon adopted by the Egyptians, Jomard states that they used one of seven and a half heads as proved by measurements of a figure made by Delile. He also states that they made the foot one-sixth of the length of the body and the cubit one-fourth. These proportions are not true to nature as shown by the following table, which he supplies:
Blanc considered that the Egyptian canon was founded upon the length of the middle finger, which should be contained nineteen times in the body. Topinard calls this the canon of Lepsius, and states that the head and neck contain this measure three times, the upper extremity eight times, the inferior from the pubes, ten times, thus giving the relation of the upper to the lower extremities as 4 is to 5. The term 'canon of Lepsius' is due to the fact that in the 'Selection of Funeral Monuments' published by that author, there is a figure in which the body is divided by horizontal lines into nineteen parts (Fig. 2). Of this figure Duval says, 'As several passages in different ancient authors seem to indicate that the Egyptian sculptors have taken the finger as the unit of the system, Charles Blanc very ingeniously remarks this fact, that in the figure in question, one of the horizontal lines, the eighth, beginning at the soles of the feet, passes exactly at the base of the middle finger in the right hand (closed, holding a key), while the seventh touches the extremity of the middle finger of the extended left hand.
It seems to him, then, very probable that the distribution of these horizontal lines indicates a system of measuring the figure, and that the space between the seventh and the eighth lines measures the length of the middle finger, which thus becomes the standard of this system of proportion. According to the Egyptian rule, the length of the middle finger will be found nineteen times in that of the height; it may be that this rule was adopted by the Greek artists, and Charles Blanc does not hesitate to think that Polycletus, who has composed a "Treatise on Proportions," with a model in marble known by the name of Doryphorus, used no other system but the Egyptian; there has always been found in a number of antique figures this same proportion of nineteen times the middle finger to the height of the body, and in the Achilles, for example, the total height does not exceed by more than one-twentieth of an inch the length of the middle finger multiplied by nineteen.' MM. Perrot and Chipiez, whose position as authorities on Egyptian art stands very high, are inclined to doubt the existence of any fixed canon of stature in use amongst artists of this nation.
They point out that though the figure above alluded to is contained in nineteen squares, others have been found in which the height of the figure occupies sixteen, twenty-two and a quarter, and twenty-three squares respectively. They look upon these squares not as related to a canon, but as being merely the method used to copy accurately from another, and possibly smaller, representation in the manner well known to artists, and alluded to in the description of the procedure of the sculptors as given above. There seems some possibility that the Greeks received their knowledge of a canon of stature from the Egyptians. Such a theory is supported by Blanc's statemerit, by the stories of Diodorus Siculus, which probably had at least some foundation, and receives some confirmation from an incident related by Broca, the celebrated French anthropologist. M. Fock, in 1866, gave an order to Tramond, the well-known preparer of skeletons, to find him one with certain proportions, which he indicated, and which were those which he had obtained from the examination of the statue of the Apollo Belvedere. Tramond not being able to find a skeleton satisfying these requirements, particularly in so far as they concerned the fore-arm, applied to Broca. After a search, he found a skeleton which fulfilled the requirements.
It was that of Abdallah, a superb negro from the Soudan, which is still in existence in the museum of the Society of Anthropology of Paris. Broca drew from this the conclusion, that the statue of the Apollo Belvedere was fashioned without doubt upon the Egyptian canon, which had been drawn up from Nubian negroes, who were used as models. Whether they obtained their canon from Egypt or not, there can be no doubt that rules of proportion were studied and employed by the Greeks. Schadow says that a canon was probably used in the workshops of the oldest Greek sculptors, and calls attention to the fact that in the group of the AEginetans in Munich, the proportions used for the wrestlers are the same. The most celebrated canon of which we have any knowledge was that of Polycletus, after whom Schadow's work is named. This artist was a native of Argos and a contemporary of Phidias, flourishing between the years b.c. 452-412. He was a pupil of Ageladas, and designed the temple and theatre of Epidaurus. He composed a commentary upon the proportions of the human body, and also constructed a figure in illustration of his views, the Doryphorus or Lancebearer, which he called the 'Canon.' This figure is mentioned by various old writers, Galen twice alluding to it as follows: 'Carvers, painters, sculptors and artists in general, strive to paint and represent the most beautiful forms they can find, whether of human beings or animals.