On June 5, 1958, before the guests of a dinner party at the apartment of Robert Godet, Yves Klein directed the creation of a blue monochrome painting achieved by having a nude female model, covered with paint, use her hands and body to spread paint while she crawled over the surface of paper laid on the floor. It was not until February 1960, however, that Klein began to incorporate the use of such "living brushes" to create body imprints, for which Klein's friend, the art critic Pierre Restany, coined the term Anthropométries.
Imprints such as Ant 50 were created by placing a nude female model in a prone position on a bolster-like support which she straddled. A trace of lipstick worn by the model used to create this imprint is only just visible and, rather than a primary focus of the piece, is a vestige of the process employed. What is central to the piece is the circular imprint of the model's pendulous breasts and the conspicuous gulf between the imprint of splayed legs. Attention is thus drawn to the elements of the body core to womanhood. As Klein wrote: "I very quickly perceived that it was the block of the body, that is to say the trunk and part of the thighs, that fascinated me. The hands, the arms, the head, the legs were of no importance to me. Only the body is alive, all-powerful, non-thinking. The head, the arms, the hands are only intellectual articulations around the bulk of flesh that is the body True, the whole body is made of flesh, but the essential mass is the trunk and the thighs. It is there that we find the real universe, hidden by the universe of our limited perception" (Quoted in Yves Klein: 1928-1962, A Retrospective, Houston and New York, 1982, p. 229).
Fig. 1 Model with IKB paint, photograph by Harry Skunk