Monday, August 31, 2009

Iliac Furrow

“What,” you may ask, “is an iliac furrow?”

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but I’m going to try to describe it for you before I show you. An iliac furrow, alternatively known as Apollo’s belt or the Adonis belt, is the indented line on the human body that runs from the hip bone (aka the iliac crest) to the pubic bone on either side of the abdomen. Can you picture it?

“Why do you care about this?”

For years it has been my second favorite part of a male body (hands first), but until this weekend, I never knew what it was called. Why this weekend? After seeing a stunning sketch of a basically naked male torso, I knew that a line so prominently featured in most beautiful human forms had to have a name, so I went looking for it.

While Henry Grey says the iliac furrow is most pronounced in “fat subjects”, the fact that the more poetic terms are used in art history to describe the area on paragons of the human form makes perfect sense.

The fashion of low slung jeans may well be filling the world with unsightly images of muffin tops, coin slots, and plumber’s cracks, but an unexpected glimpse at the beginnings of well defined iliac furrow can quickly wash all that ugliness away.

This is clearly NOT the stunning sketch (to which someday I hope to provide a link), but a slice of Ruddy & Sallow, an oil painting I did some years ago as an exercise attempting to recreate skin tones. (As you can see, it is difficult to not muddy the colors.)

My favorite iliac furrow is modeled here by my ruddy husband.


Kelly Elmore said...

I love those too! Soccer players have the best ones!

LB said...

Swimmers have good ones too, and they can always be seen, but somehow the goofy looking Speedos ruin the attraction.

I have to find this picture of Ryan Reynolds I saw once - good iliac furrows on that one!

LB said...

That wasn't very difficult (top photo).