26 Anatomy for Artists, Being an Explanation of Surface Form

Title: Anatomy for Artists, Being an Explanation of Surface Form

Artist/Source: Eugene Wolff (1896-1954)

Date: 1945, third edition

Henry Tonks employed Eugene Wolff (1896-1954) to teach anatomy at the Slade over a period of ten years. Wolff fits into a tradition of physicians teaching artists anatomy. Wolff was an ophthalmic surgeon at the Royal Northern Hospital, Central Eye Hospital, and Moorfields Hospital. He trained at University College and University College Hospital, graduating in 1918. He held the post of demonstrator of anatomy at the medical school till 1930, simultaneously teaching the Slade students. Subsequently, he specialized in ophthalmology to become president of the Ophtamological Society of the United Kingdom and one of the most distinguished eye surgeons. He published on the anatomy of the eye in addition to his work Anatomy for Artists and even produced A Shorter Anatomy in 1928, for those not inclined to read the entire book.

Wolff dedicated Anatomy for Artists to Tonks, “for his great interest and most useful criticism and advice with regard to the diagrams”. The book was first published in 1925 with illustrations by George Charlton, and is currently in its fourth edition. Wolff emphasizes the importance of understanding underlying anatomy to producing contour, clearly revealing the influence of Tonks’ teaching technique. The pages scattered with smaller anatomical sections reproduce the layout of several of the plates in Albinus’ influential anatomy atlas (see in this pack). Albinus’ atlas had long been used by Slade students, and was reprinted alongside Anatomy for Artists in Robert Beverley Cole’s Albinus on Anatomy.

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