A new paper examines this topic and discovers humans have been getting it wrong for quite a long time.
How well can you draw a person running? For much of the history of the world, it appears mankind has struggled with getting the details right.
A story posted on The Atlantic this week brings this artistic issue to light.
As runners, we’re aware that when our left leg goes forward, our right arm does as well. The same is true for the opposite leg. So why do so many drawings depict the right leg-right arm, left leg-leg arm move? Is it an honest mistake, or do people really not know how to draw someone running or walking?
The Atlantic cites a paper written by psychologist Julian Meltzoff that addresses these questions.
“Paintings, drawings, and sculptures from ancient art to the present reveal a curious error in the portrayal of human gait,” Meltzoff writes. “In natural human gait the arm and leg on 1 side of the body swing in opposite directions to each other—contralaterally. The error is to depict the arm and leg on the same side of the body as if swinging in the same direction—homolaterally. It has been largely unnoticed by art historians and nonexpert viewers, and has been perpetuated in “how to draw” instructional manuals.”
While conducting research for his paper, Meltzoff found that the majority of people he surveyed were not familiar with the opposite leg-opposite arm motion in which humans walk and run.
For More: TheAtlantic.com