DÜRER, ALBRECHT. Hierinn sind begriffen vier Bucher von menschlicher Proportion. Nuremberg: Hieronymous Formschnyder, October 1528. Numerous woodcut illustrations (some folding), and diagrams in text. Folio, 18th-century half calf, spine with blind-ruled compartments, mottled green boards, minor rubbing; lacking title-page (A1) and Z5, A6 with upper fore-corner repaired (slightly affecting woodcut diagrams), X1 with large fore-margin chip patched (affecting illustration slightly), D1 and Z3 with remnants from old adhesion on margins, some small margin repairs or reinforcements, folding plates S4 and S5 with folds and some margins repaired on verso (slight loss along folds from chipping), staining and browning throughout, lacks final blank (Z6). FIRST EDITION. Bohatta 17; Meder, p. 288; NLM/Durling 1295; STC/German, p. 256; Norman 666.
"Written, designed and illustrated by Dürer, the posthumous Vier bücher was the first work to discuss the problems of comparative and differential anthropometry. Dürer held that the essence of true form was the primary mathematical figure (e.g., straight line, circle, curve, conic section) constructed arithmetically or geometrically, and made beautiful by the application of a canon of proportion. However, he was also convinced that beauty of form was a relative and not an absolute quality; thus the purpose of his system of anthropometry was to provide the artist with the means to delineate, on the basis of sheer measurement, all possible types of human figures"--Norman.