Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Anatomical Chimps, after Vesalius

The more I look at the anatomy of chimpanzees, the more I see the similarities between them and humans. It reflects the fact that we share 98% or more of our DNA with them. When I draw their arms and legs, I can literally look at a human anatomy book for reference, and just make adjustments for proportions. The big areas of difference are in the cranium and the pelvis. Yet, behaviorally, humans are a big improvement, though I think we humans can lapse easily into chimp-like violence.

I'm doing a series of three small paintings, after the manner of Vesalius, the Renaissance anatomical master. Though these flayed chimps are bold legged, and somewhat stooped over, I want to emphasize their similarities to human anatomy.

I just finished three small preliminary drawings, and will transfer them to canvas this week. By the way, the side view chimp is actually a take off on an anatomical study by Albinus.

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