A bit miffed that his artistic manifesto had been mistaken for an IKEA catalog, Klein decided to take monochrome painting to a new level -- namely, by inventing a new color. His International Klein Blue is a unique, brilliantly luminous shade of blue ... which you'll probably never witness unless you get to look at a Klein painting in the flesh. See, when artists' paints are made, the pigment is mixed with some kind of binding medium, which has a tendency to dull the color (which, in turn, makes it easier to reproduce in screens or print). Klein wanted a blue that would never lose its glow, and after much experimentation, he finally found an art shop which sold a special type of binding material (Rhodopas M60A) which allowed him to mix the perfect shade. Then some heathen came along and said, "I don't get it, it's just blue," and Klein's head exploded in the most luminous shade of red.
Ancient Egyptian Drawings Were Constructed Proportionally On A Mathematical Grid
Here's a typical ancient Egyptian portrait:
The Yorck Project
You can almost see the cell phone in her hand
It's kind of pretty in a stylized and iconic way, but it doesn't seem all that technically impressive. The ancient Egyptians are known more as engineers, not artists, which might leave you a bit cold in the gallery, but at least their college degrees were worth something, dammit.
But Actually ...
They were both engineers and artists, even bringing the former to the latter. First, they had to draw up a grid, dividing the work surface into parts of equal proportions. Only then could they start figuring out where to put each body part, all of which had to take a specific number of squares (presumably to prevent the occurrence of Rob Liefeld feet). Different kinds of figures were to be specific sizes -- a standing figure, for example, always had to occupy 18 squares from the feet to those sexy lined eyes.
Those 17 squares tall were subject to intense body-shaming.
Just for laughs, the grids were usually changed around when a new dynasty came to the throne, but they were always highly specific. Under the rule of the Twelfth Dynasty, every single body part had its assigned place, from the hairline to the line of the lower buttock (the two were to be nine squares apart in a seated figure, as the gods intended). There was even a specific line that had to run through the nipple, marking the invention of nipple piercing long before your father was disappointed in you.
And yes, there's a crotch piercing. You didn't even need to ask.
There was also a whole other set of rules dictating what percentage of which body part had to go in which square. As you can see from above, for instance, during the Sixth Dynasty, an erect dong was to be exactly 4.5 squares long, no matter what the long-haired guy on the right insisted.
Follow Rachel P. on Twitter: @plehcar. The author would like to thank E.M. Caris for his kind help with researching this article.
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