Observing and Revealing the Hidden Structure of the Human Form in Motion Throughout the Centuries
Observing, revealing the hidden structure, and understanding the human locomotor system have been a goal for artists alone at first and for both artists and scientists later. How and why this goal was achieved is illustrated in this chapter. This is done following the fil rouge of history, believing that the understanding of the phylogenesis of knowledge effectively accompanies its ontogenesis.
The realistic representation of the human form, as opposed to its metaphorical depiction, started in ancient Greece, but reached its apex in the Renaissance when artists understood that they needed a deeper understanding of reality in order to create an illusion of it. This was the premise for the scientific revolution in general and with regard to human motion in particular.
During the nineteenth century, thermodynamics and the introduction of novel measurement and recording technologies gave renewed impulse to the study of the human locomotor system as if it were a machine designed either for fighting or for working. At the beginning of the twentieth century, avant-garde artists cooperated with the science of human movement by adding stronger human emotions and feelings to the scientific narration and therefore establishing a deeper perception of the natural phenomenon.
The development of reconstructive orthopedic surgery in the second half of the twentieth century made the acquisition of deeper knowledge about the hidden movement of bones and the mechanics of human joints urgent. Since then, ever more sophisticated and accurate mathematical models of the neuromusculoskeletal system have been developed taking advantage of digital technology for measurement, computing, and virtual animation.
KeywordsHistory Human movement Locomotor apparatus Biomechanics
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