lay figure


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lay figure

n.
1. See mannequin.
2. A subservient or insignificant person.

[From obsolete layman, from Dutch leeman, variant of ledenman : obsolete Dutch led, limb (from Middle Dutch lit) + man, man (from Middle Dutch; see manikin).]

lay figure

n
1. (Art Terms) an artist's jointed dummy, used in place of a live model, esp for studying effects of drapery
2. a person considered to be subservient or unimportant
[C18: from obsolete layman, from Dutch leeman, literally: joint-man]

lay′ fig`ure


n.
1. a jointed model of the human body, usu. of wood, from which artists work in the absence of a living model; mannequin.
2. a person of no importance, individuality, distinction, etc.; nonentity.
[1785–95; lay, extracted from obsolete layman < Dutch leeman]

lay figure

A wooden model of the human body that is jointed so that it can be posed and arranged in clothing; used by artists and sculptors.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.lay figure - dummy in the form of an artist's jointed model of the human body
dummy - a figure representing the human form
Translations

lay figure

nGliederpuppe f; (fig)Marionette f
Mentioned in ?
References in classic literature ?
She became impersonal and forgot her husband, only using him as a lay figure to give point to her tale.
His particular trick of speaking of any third person as of a lay figure was exasperating.
But already Percerin, goaded by the idea that the king was to be told he stood in the way of a pleasant surprise, had offered Lebrun a chair, and proceeded to bring from a wardrobe four magnificent dresses, the fifth being still in the workmen's hands; and these masterpieces he successively fitted upon four lay figures, which, imported into France in the time of Concini, had been given to Percerin II.
Here and there, above this shelf, a head of Niobe, hanging to a nail, presented her pose of woe; a Venus smiled; a hand thrust itself forward like that of a pauper asking alms; a few "ecorches," yellowed by smoke, looked like limbs snatched over-night from a graveyard; besides these objects, pictures, drawings, lay figures, frames without paintings, and paintings without frames gave to this irregular apartment that studio physiognomy which is distinguished for its singular jumble of ornament and bareness, poverty and riches, care and neglect.
The funereal display of the lay figure used by Walter Sickert for The Raising of Lazarus (1929), for instance.
Denise Bellon (1902-1999), Salvador |Dali holding an artist's lay figure (the chauffeur in the Taxi pluvieux), International Exhibition of Surrealism, Paris, 1938.