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Review Essays of Academic, Professional & Technical Books in the Humanities & Sciences


Anatomy and Drawing by Victor Semon Perard (Dover) republication of the fourth edition as published by Pitman Publishing Corporation, New York, 1955. 179 black-and-white illustrations.

This instructive book presents excellent annotated line drawings of anatomical structure for the beginning artist. Explaining the subject in simple terms and with an extensive series of dynamic illustrations, the author identifies parts of the body and demonstrates a wide array of physical activities through his sketches.

Following notes on proportion and drawing, chapters cover the human skeleton, head and neck, torso, arm, hand, leg, foot, and musculature. Numerous illustrations depict various views of these structures, movements of the human figure, as well as changes in the relative proportions of features at different ages. 

One of the best books in its field, Anatomy and Drawing helps demystify a com­plex subject by enabling students to visualize the muscles and bones under the skin, and covers just about everything a beginner needs to know about drawing the human anatomy. 

Handbook of Decorative Motifs by Birthe Koustrup (W. W. Norton & Company) 250 color illustrations. Finely detailed florals, chinoiserie, popular art, and faience designs and patterns for decorative inspiration.

Full-color ornamental motifs fill the pages of the Handbook of Decorative Motifs, offering a lively catalog of inspired ideas and models for decorative painters and craftspeople of all kinds. The simple design techniques—as well as general tips on caring for plant and flower models—help artists adapt the motifs to their own styles and media.

Visually rich and wide-ranging in scope, the Handbook of Decorative Motifs is a treasury of nature-inspired design ideas, packaged in one handy volume for artists and designers at every level of expertise and working in any medium. From plants and flowers, borders and bouquets to folk art and chinoiserie—a mélange of exotic designs—this substantial compendium offers over 250 four-color, beautifully rendered floral patterns; imaginative animal, aquatic, and bird decorations; and a variety of figures and geo­metric motifs adapted from the traditional designs of countries and cultures around the world, as well as tips on drawing from nature, composing arrangements, and creating variations on a theme.

An ideal resource for porcelain painters, ceramicists, trompe l'oeil artists, textile designers and embellishers, wood- and metalworkers, interior designers, and anyone who takes nature as visual inspiration, this book offers a bounty of examples to copy or set you on the path to creativity, allowing you to adjust the models to suit your own personal style and material. 

Animal Motifs In Asian Art: An Illustrated Guide to Their Meanings and aestectics by Katherine M. Ball (Dover) republication of the edition originally published in 1927 by John Lane The Bodley Head Ltd. (London) and Dodd, Mead and Company (New York) under the title Decorative Motives of Oriental Art. 673 black-and-white illustrations. Decorative motives, or motifs, have special meaning in the art of the Far East, where they are frequently used to teach essential lessons in life. This authoritative reference deals primarily with animal symbolism in Japanese art, with occasional mention of the decorative art of China, India, and Persia. Arranged in the format of a dictionary, the text is rich with illustrations and an abundance of sidelights from literature and legend.


This ample sourcebook is filled with hundreds of examples compiled from ancient woodcuts, paintings, tapestries, fabrics, and screen-paintings, and contains images of dragons, tigers, unicorns, bats, phoenixes, butterflies, tortoises, elephants, and other creatures imbued with symbolic significance. Essential reading for students of Asian art and culture, this volume will also appeal to anyone seeking information about the myths, origins, and symbolism surrounding the use of animals in Asian art.


"The great qualities of Chinese and Japanese brush-drawing, its vitality, its delicate beauty, its truth, and its humour, can accordingly be seen at their best in such pictures as these."—Times [London] Literary Supplement


"... a fascinating book."—The Spectator

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