1 Stuttgarter Beiträge zur Naturkunde Serie A (Biologie) Herausgeber: Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde, Rosenstein 1, D-70191 Stuttgart Stuttgarter Beitr. Naturk. Ser. A Nr. 551 29 S. Stuttgart, 14. 3. 1997 Die Geometrie der Menschengestalt The geometry of the human figure y^^^SO/V/^ Von Benno Herting, Stuttgart \ ^V 1 2 1997 Mit 22 Abbildungen Summary Many years ago, a young student found out that a sphere can be transformed into a man-like figure by upward stretching combined with upward dislocation of two different middles: the middle stripe between left and right (fig. 4) and the middle (i.e. the broadest part) between above and below (fig. 5). This unexpected finding encouraged him to try a complete geome-tric reconstruction of the outer form of the human body without taking biological factors into account. He had to wait patiently for inspirations, but finally he had come to interesting re-sults and published a book on it (Herting 1986). The important discovery is that there is much more geometric order in the human figure than was hitherto known. The geometry of the human figure is based on two antagonistic form-principles: the sphere (fig. 1) and the upward striving (fig. 2). The reconstruction starts with a distinction of three vertical stripes in the breadth, and the steps leading from there to a diversified figure compri-sing two legs, a trunk, a head and two arms are illustrated and explained in the figs. 3-6. An essential feature is the splitting of the middle in each stripe by the antagonistic form-principles into two portions: the one following the upward striving to the upper end (the shoulder in the side stripes, the face in the middle stripe), the other being retained at the normal place (the hips in the side stripes, the breasts in the middle stripe). See fig. 8. The middle stripe is dislocated not only upwards as in fig. 4, but also entirely to one side which thus has become the representative side of the human figure: the front. The entire back of the trunk is built only by the two lateral stripes which are fused in the slightly excavated median line (fig. 18). The head is middle stripe, but its back and top are covered with hair so that only its front, the face, is freely exposed. Other differences between the front and the back are illustrated and explained in the figs. 9-11. The face is the maximum middle raised to the uppermost position by a maximum upward striving (fig. 7). Its features repeat the tripartite division according to the scheme in fig. 4, but modified to fit into the undivided outline of the head. They consist of a T-shaped middle stripe shifted upward and forward (forehead and nose) and two lateral stripes fused to a U (cheeks and chin). The principal parts of the face, the eyes and the mouth, occupy the three places where the T and the U would otherwise come into vertical touch. The proportions of the figure are manifesting the relative strength of the antagonistic form-principles. The ratio vertical : horizontal is 1 : 1 in the sphere, but 1 : in the upward striving.