Hierarchical proportion

Hierarchical proportion is a technique used in art, mostly in sculpture and painting, in which the artist uses unnatural proportion or scale to depict the relative importance of the figures in the artwork.

Nebamun hunting birds in the marshes using cats, fragment of a scene from the tomb-chapel of Nebamun, Thebes, Egypt Late 18th Dynasty, around 1350 BC.[1]

For example, in Egyptian times, people of higher status would sometimes be drawn or sculpted larger than those of lower status.

During the Dark Ages, people with more status had larger proportions than serfs. During the Renaissance images of the human body began to change, as proportion was used to depict the reality an artist interpreted.


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  1. ^ a b "British Museum - Nebamun hunting in the marshes, fragment of a scene from the tomb-chapel of Nebamun". London: British Museum. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
  2. ^ a b "The adventures of Hamza". Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
  3. ^ a b "Brooklyn Museum: Arts of the Islamic World: Battle of Karbala". Brooklyn, New York: Brooklyn Museum. Retrieved 7 July 2013.


  • Artforms by Preble, Preble, Frank; Prentice Hall 2004

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