Rhombus of Michaelis

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The Rhombus of Michaelis on the back of the Venus de Milo.

The Rhombus of Michaelis is a rhombus shaped area on the lower back of the woman at the lumbar curve (the section of the back which is concave when standing upright). It is named after the German gynecologist Gustav Adolf Michaelis (1798-1848).

In some people, the lower back seems smooth and without such a structure, while in other people the Rhombus of Michaelis is more clearly visible. The four corners of the Rhombus of Michaelis are:

  • top: at the third or fourth lumbar vertebrae
  • left and right: at the Dimples of Venus (or lateral and above of them?)
  • bottom: where the sacrum meets the coccyx

Only in females[edit]

The lower part of the Rhombus of Michaelis is called the sacral triangle. Here, just above the sacrum, the spinal groove terminates completely in a flat area which some people call trinangular, and others "heart-shaped". In males, the upper half of the rhombus is usually less pronounced, which is why it is valid to say the structure of the Rhombus of Michaelis as such exists only in women. The Dimples of Venus exist in about 25% of males.

Medical importance[edit]

Budapest girl.

Medically, the Rhombus of Michaelis became important when Dr. Michaelis found out that its shape is an indicator of the width of the pelvis, which may be important especially at childbirth.

Erotic and aesthetic function[edit]

The Rhombus of Michaelis is often considered an important element in the beauty of a female's back and buttocks. It is often found, and sometimes emphasized, in visual art that depicts a female nude, such as painting, drawing, or sculpture. To some people, the Rhombus of Michaelis has not only aesthetic but also a special erotic value.

In recent decades it has become fashionable to wear a lower back tattoo on this place.