Study of the Skull

Posted by James Napier on

One fact about the head not often appreciated by students is the study of the skull. Much of the skin of the face is quite thin, meaning much of the modelling is caused largely by the skeletal structure. This is most prominent around the forehead, eyes and cheekbones. An understanding of this idea is often key to the difference between a beginner and advanced rendering of the eyes. This was well understood and emphasised in the education of artists in the 19th century. Pictured is a sculpture by 19th century artist and anatomy teacher in the Ecole d’ Beaux arts Paul Richer. Created to demonstrate to his students the effect of the underlying skeletal structure on the surface forms of the famous portrait of Descartes by Frans Hals