ⓘ Human figure


ⓘ Human figure

In aesthetics, the human figure or human form in art, sculpture and other art forms involves a study and appreciation of the beauty of the human body in its depiction or presentation. The study involves an appreciation of the body shape, including body postures - sitting, standing or even sleeping, and movements - walking, running, dancing etc. Kant refers to the human figure as the ideal of beauty. The human figure conforms very well to the law that states that form follows function, which is believed to be a result of evolution over thousands of generations.


1. Study

The human figure is a common aspect in visual arts. Very few art forms are not related to human figure such as music, though it figures in lyrics. A study of the human figure includes a detailed study of the following subjects:

  • Dance is an art form that involves movement of the body, usually rhythmic and to music, used as a form of expression, social interaction or presented in a spiritual or performance setting.
  • Fashion and accessories.
  • Literature involves the description of the human figure to imply its sexual attraction, physical ability and mentality.
  • Ergonomics in passenger vehicles and seatings, this deals with unisex approach to human figure.
  • Body language involves body posture, gestures, facial expressions, and eye movements.
  • Figure drawing involves the depiction of the body in different postures or in motion or at work.
  • 3D animation
  • Gait analysis
  • Sculpture is similar to figure drawing.

2. Body proportions

Body proportions are the study of relation of human body, or in general, animal body, parts to each other and the whole, essential for depiction of the overall figure.


3. Sculpture and figure drawing

A figure drawing is a study of the human form in its various shapes and postures. It is a study or stylized depiction of the human form, with the line and form of the human figure as the primary objective, rather than the subject person. It is a composed image of the subject in a still position. A life drawing is a work that has been drawn from an observation of a live model.