DÜRER, Albrecht
(b. 1471, Nürnberg, d. 1528, Nürnberg)

Figure of Woman Shown in Motion

Woodcut, 22 x 16 cm
Graphische Sammlung Albertina, Vienna

Dürer's most important contribution to the theoretical study of art was his work on the question of human proportion, a problem which arose from the Italian artists' search for the ideal measurements of the body. After years of study, Dürer ultimately decided that there was no absolute ideal. Choosing the head as the basic measurement for other parts of the human body, he established a series of proportions devised according to different physiques. His theory was published in his Four Books on Human Proportion, but although he had begun to correct the proofs it was not published until six months after his death.

The picture shows an illustration from Four Books on Human Proportion.