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Gottfried Bammes, born in 1920 in Freital, Germany, worked as an art teacher at the College of Fine Arts in Dresden. He was a prolific writer and artist, considered to be a master of life drawing and anatomy and produced numerous books on the subject in his lifetime. In 1974 Bammes was awarded the National Prize of the German Democratic Republic for Science and Technology and received the Culture and Art Prize of the City of Freital in 2000. He died in 2007.
This is the most substantial book I've seen on the subject of anatomy. Substantial, however, doesn't mean incomprehensible and, looking into its pages, it becomes possible to believe the jacket's claim that the original German edition is bestselling - even though I doubt it would have troubled the literary pages of the Frankfurter Allgemeine. Gottfried Bammes does a remarkable job of explaining every aspect of both anatomy and the practice of drawing it in a way that simplifies without reduction to absurdity. Anatomy, rather like perspective, is complex and comes with the additional hazard that, when writing about art, any author needs to avoid something that looks like a medical textbook. That Gottfried avoids this is, in large part, down to the quality of the drawings he uses to illustrate everything. He has a lightness of touch that, while it might be out of place in a hospital lecture theatre, is more than adequate in a drawing studio. The result is not only manageable, but looks and feels manageable. On top of this, the way the book is structured makes each section a unit in its own right; you can concentrate on the room without feeling weighed down by the rest of the building, large and ornate though it is. I'd hesitate to recommend this as a primer but, if you're interested in anatomy for artistic purposes, I doubt you'll ever find a better, and certainly not a more complete, guide. Artbookreview Originally published in Germany in 1964, this has become a definitive guide to drawing the human figure. This is the first English translation of the complete work. The tome contains over 12,000 drawings, diagrams and photographs covering all aspects of the human form. Structure, function and anatomical processes are all described in detail. It is a systematic approach to learning anatomy offering steps and exercises to reveal practical development for the artist. It provides an in-depth look at the subject. The book includes Anatomy For Artists Past and Present; The Proportions of The Human Body; Bearing and Movement; Building Blocks; Lower Extremities; Skeleton; Muscles; Upper Extremities; Neck; Head including facial features and Artistic Freedom. It talks about measuring processes, developmental stage and proportion3-dimension and space, poses and all factors that have to be taken into account when drawing. The developmental sequences, for example, of knee construction are fascinating. The highly detailed instruction is probably beyond the Sunday painter, but for any serious painter of the human form, this is the best book I have seen. Illustrated with fine examples of well-known artists such as Michelangelo, Matisse and Durer. Brilliant. yarnsandfabrics.co.uk