Of Heaven and Earth: Form vs. Function

Cavaliere d'Arpino (Giuseppe Cesari), Archangel Michael and the Rebel Angels, ca. 1592–93. Glasgow Museums; Bequeathed by Archibald McLellan, 1856 (153). © CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection. Courtesy American Federation of Arts.

One goal of the Renaissance artist, such as those represented in the Of Heaven and Earth exhibition, was to depict the human form in a way that was realistic. During the same period, Renaissance scientists sought to learn more about human anatomy. This led to collaborations between artists and physicians.

Share examples of the human form, as displayed in science books. Specifically consider the muscle structure and how it lays on the bone.

Have students pair up and take turns posing and completing short gesture drawings of each other as a warm-up. Once ready, give students extended time to independently illustrate a specific body part, such as a foot or a hand.

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