PAINTERS AND PEDIATRICIANS share a professional interest in the sizes and shapes of children's bodies. The drawings on this month's cover are from Four Books of Human Proportions by German artist Albrecht Dürer.1 In effect, they are Dürer's blueprints for an ideal child.
Dürer defined the child's overall height as 1 unit so that the image could easily be rescaled to any size. Each number on the drawing indicates a body dimension as a fraction of that unit. On the lateral view of the arm, for example, the width at the shoulder is one tenth of the child's total height, whereas at the elbow it is one sixteenth and at the wrist, one twenty-third.
Koepsell TD. Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528): The Proportions of an Infant (1528). Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2003;157(8):718. doi:10.1001/archpedi.157.8.718
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