Attenuated Figure


Representations of the human form in which a figure is stylized so as to look elongated or thinned out. As far back as the 16th century, the mannerist painter El Greco departed from the idealized, classical figures of Renaissance art in his drawn-out depictions of the human figure. Egon Schiele later adopted a similar style, often rendering grotesquely thin figures with a long wavering line, as if to express the precarious state of the individual in modern society. In response to the atrocities of World War II, Alberto Giacometti’s textured bronze sculptures of gaunt human figures echoed the emaciated bodies of Jews persecuted during the Holocaust.