The complete translation, in PDF form, is here.

This post is a continuation of this one. The series began here.

Thanks to everyone who has helped out so far!

MDD Plate 1

From this point onward, a number of the plates from the book are horizontal. As such, I will present a reduced size image for web display (as seen above) and a link to my server for a larger size image. The translators may want to use the larger version as it’s easier to read.

The full size image of plate 1 can be downloaded here.

In order to help us stay on the same page, so to speak, I’ve labeled separate regions of text in the image below.


Click here for the link to Plate 1.

Here’s the translation (thanks to Mona Turner and Henry Cornillot):

Region A
Rules for the Head (Canon)

1. The halfway point between the top of the skull and the bottom of the chin gives the line for the eyes taken at the tear ducts.

2. The halfway point between the eye line and the bottom of the chin gives the point at which the bottom of the nose joins the face.

3. The halfway point between where the bottom of the nose joins the face and the bottom of the chin gives the point where the chin begins.

4. The halfway point between these last two lines gives the position of the corners of the mouth.

5. The widest width of the oval describing the head (frontal view) is at a point a quarter of the way down from the top of the head. The width should be about three quarters of the length of this oval.

Region B
Top: The width of the head is divided into five parts
Bottom: The line from the upper contour of the eye is used to place the top of the ear

Region C
“To draw a head, one must, before starting, understand the principle proportions. These drawings give the general proportions. However, they should be considered as guidelines in the construction of a head, and note must be taken of the infinite variety of variations presented by nature.”

Region D
Top: The line from the top of the eye, used to place the top of the ear
Middle: Three quarters of the head
Bottom: Half a head

Region E
6. One fifth of this width gives the length of the eye, the width of the space between the eyes, and the width from the outer corner of the eye to the line that describes the widest part of the head.

7. The ear falls between two lines, commencing from the top contour of the eye and the bottom of the nose.

8. In profile, from the tear duct to the back of the head is three quarters of the head.*

9. In profile, the hole of the ear falls halfway between the lines describing the top and the bottom of the nose.*

*Editor’s note: In the original plate, the descriptions of #8 and #9 seem to be reversed. I have corrected that in this translation.

Plate 2 is here.