Having thus cleared the ground, he proceeds to give the result of his own observations as to the proportions of the adult male and female body, the laws of growth, the influence of locality, food, profession, and other factors of the environment upon the stature and proportions. As I shall have to mention many of his observations at a later stage, I shall not in this chiefly historical portion delay longer over his writings. I have now to pass to the English writers on the subject of proportion, to whom Quetelet pays the high compliment of saying that 'amongst the different schools which have occupied themselves with the proportions and symmetry of man, there is, perhaps, none which has considered this important subject from a higher and juster standpoint than that of England.' In the first rank he mentions Sir Joshua Reynolds, some of whose observations I have already quoted. Flaxman, in his lectures on Sculpture, has dealt with the same question. John Chamberlain published in 1796 a book in reversed writing, in which he reproduced Leonardo da Vinci's designs. The late John Marshall, who filled the Chair of Anatomy in the Royal Academy, published a work on the Proportions of the Human Body, of which it will be necessary to give a more detailed account.

He divided the axial portion of the body into four principal parts, to each of which again he assigned nine units. Thus the head, neck and trunk, are divided into thirty-six portions. The four portions are thus allotted; the first is the head, which he thus takes as his standard, though dividing it into nine, and not, as many earlier writers had done, into four parts. The second is from the chin to near the lower end of the sternum, a little below the nipples. The third extends from this point to the highest part of the crest of the ilium, and the fourth is placed one unit and a half below the tuberosity of the ischium, that is to say, half a unit below the gluteal fold. I cannot give all his figures, which can be easily consulted by those desirous of pursuing the subject further, but some few are of such importance as to require mention now, whilst I shall return later to the consideration of others. The upper extremity, according to his system, contains twenty-nine and a half units, and the lower forty-one. The entire stature contains sixty-seven units. Now, as the mean height of the inhabitants of the British Isles is 67.3 inches, it follows that his unit is, in the case of the average man, very nearly equal to one inch.

Again, if the number of units be reduced to heads, it will be found that the entire stature includes seven heads and four units, or very nearly seven and a half heads, which, from all accurate observations, we may regard as the correct estimate, the classical canon of eight heads to the body making the head too small. In another place he mentions that the supra-sternal notch is equal to one unit. His comparison of the stature of the female with that of the male is also of much interest. The axial portion of the female he also divides into four parts, each containing nine units, but in this case the units are proportionately smaller than those of the male, being in the proportion of *988 inches to 1 inch. The four divisions in the female are, first the head, second from the chin to the lower part of the sternum just below the nipples, the third to the upper part of the pelvis, and the fourth to half a unit below the tuberosity of the ischium. The gluteal fold being one and a half units below this, it follows that the female axis is one and a half units longer than four heads. Thus the trunk of the female is proportionately longer than that of the male.

The stature of the female is sixty-seven and a half units, or exactly seven and a half heads, and thus the head in the female is slightly smaller proportionately than that of the male. The lengthened proportions of the female torso are due to three facts. First there is a proportional or actual elongation of the spine, and especially of its lower portion, the lower limit of the third of Marshall's divisions reaching in the female to the upper part of the fifth lumbar vertebra, and in the male to the lower part of the same vertebra; secondly, there is a greater arching of the lumbar column, making the anterior wall more convex supero-inferiorly; and, thirdly, there is the greater obliquity of the pelvis, which also causes a lowering of the hips. Before leaving the English writers, I should not omit to mention Mr. Roberts' book, 'A Manual of Anthropometry,' published in 1878, which, though not primarily intended for artists, contains many useful figures and observations to which I shall have shortly to recur.

In concluding this historical part, it may be convenient to tabulate the names of the authors who have dealt with the subject of the Proportions of the Human Body. I also add the names of several works in which the student who is desirous of pursuing his studies in the history of the subject further will find more full information.









Tho two Plinys, Vitru-vius





Gimabue, Giotto




L. B. Alberti, Ghirlan-dajo, A. Verrochio


Perugino, Bramante, L. da Vinci

Hubert and Jan Van



Raphael,Michael Angelo, Mazzuoli

Albrecht Durer

Van Orley

A. Berruguetto


Firenzuola, Bandinelli, Ruscelli, Cardi

Lucas Cranach, Jan Holbein


Luca Longhi, Lomazzo L., Aug., and Annib. Carrachi

J. Cousin

J. Y Villafane


B. Paggi


N. Poussin

Rubens, Van Dyck


Hilaire Pader

Von Sandrart



H. Testelin, J. B. Cor-neillo

S. van Hoogstraeten

C. Martinez


A. Audran

Daniel Priesler, Berg-muller

G. de Lairesse, J. de Witt


Gerard Audran, Dugrez, Ch. Ant. Jombert, N. Cochin



Bouchardon, Andro Bar-dou, Cochin fils

Ant. Raph. Mengs, J. Winckelmanns

Bd. G. Camper

Jos. Reynolds, Jno. Chamberlain


Watelet, Buffon

G. Lichtensteger, Meil

M. van Bree




Pflugfelder, J. Matters-berger



Schadow, Summering


D. Granville


G. B. Sabattini


Carus, Zeising, F. Li-harzik, C. Schmidt, G. Ruber


Hay, Bonomi, Humphry




Roberts, Marshall

Books Dealing With The History Of The Subject

Schadow, J. 6., Polyclet oder von den maassen des meuschen, nach dem geschlechte and alter mit angabe der wirklichen naturgrosse, u.s.w. Folio and 4to. Berlin, 1834. (German and French.)

Quetelet, L. A. J., Anthropometric ou meaure des differentes Faculties de l'Homme, 8vo., Bruxelles, 1870.

Topinard, P., Elements d'Anthropologie Generate, 8vo., Paris, 1885.

Ohoulant, L., Geschichte 2nd Bibliographic der Anatomischen Abbildungen, u.s.w., Leipzig, 1852

Roberts, C, A Manual of Anthropometry. London, 1878.