Fialetti's figure drawing books
I borrowed this posting from the Gurney journey blog
For many centuries young artists have trained by drawing together from sculptures and diagrams. This etching by Odoardo Fialetti (1573-1638) shows apprentices copying casts in a painter's workshop.
In 1608 Fialetti produced a very early figure drawing manual called Tutte le parti del corpo hvmano diuiso in piu pezzi. (All parts of the human body divided into several pieces)
One diagram shows how to place the features on a foreshortened head.
He also includes diagrams of difficult-to-draw details such as feet, ears, and hands.
According to Alexandra Greist, who wrote her dissertation on the topic, these instructional manuals are known as "libri da disegnare." "Libri da disegnare are groups of printed images that instruct in drawing the human body through a progression, whether by means of line-by-line instructions, following steps from outline to shaded, or building up the body from its individual features. Intended for both professional and amateur audiences, these printed sources were soon copied throughout Europe where they influenced drawing education for the next 400 years."