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Interior with portraits, painting by Thomas le Clear showing two children posing for a photograph in the early days of photography (1865).
Poser-rendered woman, nude, in a standing pose.

A pose or posture is the way the movable parts of a human or animal body are turned and positioned. A pose is mainly determined by the limbs and the spine.

Anatomically, the joints connect the bones of the skeleton in a way that permits movement in certain directions. For every joint there is a limit in every direction it allows. The main limbs are mostly independent from another. However there are also some limbs that influence in certain ways the positions of other limbs. This is for anatomical reasons such as the arrangement of ligaments.

Typical human poses are standing, sitting, kneeling, lying, on all fours, etc. These are very broad terms, however. There is an infinity of pose variations and combinations.

Standing poses are called stances.

Poses and art[edit]

Poses are important elements of visual art because they express so much. A figure can not be drawn, painted, or sculpted without a pose.

To pose means to assume a pose and hold it for a while. Models pose for artists and photographers.

In comics and cartoons, poses are often exaggerated for a more humorous and impressive effect.

Digital 3D models can be manually posed (as if they were dolls) to create rendered art with software such as Poser or DAZ Studio.

Other areas[edit]

Postures are also very important in acting, dance, the military, sports, martial arts, Yoga, etc.

See also[edit]