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6 Pages

Introduction

As part of the growing interest in child study during the nineteenth century, a number of eminent people, Charles Darwin (1877) among them, included children's drawings in their observations and investigations. One of the first published papers devoted solely to children's artwork was Ebenezer Cooke's 'Our art teaching and child nature' (1886). This was followed by the now more famous monograph L'Arte dei Bambini by Corrado Ricci (1887). Ricci is supposed to have been inspired by the graffiti drawings he saw in a doorway as he sheltered from the rain. He was particularly struck by what seemed to be developmental differences between the lower figures, which he presumed to have been drawn by younger children, and the upper ones drawn by older children. Ricci's subsequent collection of children's drawings is one of the earliest to have been published and his observations of the development of the human figure in children's drawings remain important over a century later.