Characteristics of the female heads anatomy in several of Rigas’ Art Nouveau architectural buildings

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Female heads and their anatomical details are popular decorative elements of the Art Nouveau architecture. Objectives. The study aims to describe the specificity of the female heads in the decors of Rigas’ architectural buildings in the context of regional anatomical features. Methods. An extensive historical, anatomical literature search was undertaken from several databases, books and architectural sources. The literature search was based on key terms relevant to anatomical details concerning the presentation of them in female heads of Rigas’ Art Nouveau architectural buildings. Several methods were used to formulate the anatomical details of female heads in the architectural works, including observation, formalisation, analysis, synthesis, analogy and interpretation. No ethical approval was required. Results. Female heads appeared in different forms and manifestations of ideas, including a series of historical, biblical, mythological characters or symbols of unity between humans and nature. Women’s wild and undulating hair served as an icon representative of the Art Nouveau. Several faces were depicted with a winged head, a wide-open mouth, wide staring eyes, broad nostrils, with a romantic, comical, angry, horrifying, neutral look or serious expressions. In the female heads, part of the aspects was used together with some images of contrasting mood or contrary meaning. Ideal classical and symmetrical female faces were common too. None of these heads were in colour. “Disturbed” faces and screaming masks were also represented. Conclusion. Analysed architectural works had a lot of common or different signs but at the same time every female head was unique in its anatomical details.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S159
Number of pages1
Issue numberSuppl.2
Publication statusPublished - 5 Aug 2022
Event20th Congress of the International Federation of Associations of Anatomists (IFAA) - online, Istanbul, Turkey
Duration: 5 Aug 20227 Aug 2022
Conference number: 20


  • anatomy
  • architecture
  • Art Nouveau
  • head
  • women

Field of Science*

  • 3.1 Basic medicine

Publication Type*

  • 3.4. Other publications in conference proceedings (including local)


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