Eastman Johnson used this sketchbook while enrolled in an anatomy class at the Düsseldorf Royal Academy in Germany. The meticulous, almost scientific precision of his skeleton studies reveals the school’s emphasis on draftsmanship and anatomical knowledge as fundamental tools for the artist. Many of the drawings include grids and other geometric guidelines, as well as notations about ideal proportions of the human body. Johnson parlayed his academic training into a successful career as a painter of American genre subjects.
Graphite on beige, medium weight, slightly textured laid paper
Sketchbook: 17 1/8 x 11 1/16 x 3/8 in. (43.5 x 28.1 x 1 cm) (show scale)
Inscribed on label on front cover of book: "E Johnson / Royal Academy of Düsseldorf / Anatomical class. / 1849"
Gift of Albert Duveen
Sketchbook of 21 leaves bound between cardboard covers lined with dark brown marbled paper. Contains the following anatomical sketches:
Inside front cover: sketch of man's head
Page 1: gridded studies of skull and top and profile view of bones of foot
Page 2: color notations, including "light blues", "light yellow", "dark", "dark bluish", "blue", "[illegible] / dark cool"
Page 3: sketch of skull
Pages 5, 7, & 9: studies of torso of skeleton
Page 11: studies of arm bones
Pages 13 & 15: studies of leg bone
Pages 18-19: gridded outlines of male body (profile, rear, & frontal views)
Page 21: several vertical grid lines (no other drawing)
Page 23: gridded outline of male body
Page 25: gridded outline of female body (front and rear views)
Page 26: short list of measurements in upper right
Page 27-28: page missing (cut out)
Page 29: inscription at top of page, "Venus of Milo 66 inches high -- From the [facis?] to line D 15 1/2 in. ... " [long list of proportional measurements]
Remaining pages blank
This item is not on view
Eastman Johnson (American, 1824-1906). Anatomy Sketchbook, 1849. Graphite on beige, medium weight, slightly textured laid paper, Sketchbook: 17 1/8 x 11 1/16 x 3/8 in. (43.5 x 28.1 x 1 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Albert Duveen, 40.61 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 40.61_page00_cover_front_IMLS_PS4.jpg)
overall, front cover, 40.61_page00_cover_front_IMLS_PS4.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2010
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