Definition of lay figure in English:

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lay figure

Pronunciation: /lā ˈfiɡyər/

noun

Image of lay figure
A dummy or jointed manikin of a human body used by artists, especially for arranging drapery on.
Example sentences
  • Articulated wooden lay figures of the kinds sold by artists' suppliers were used for the bodies.
  • The monastic painter of course could not do otherwise, unless he used a lay figure (an articulated model).
  • A number of examples survive from the eighteenth century, including the articulated lay figure used by the sculptor Louis-François Roubiliac, which is in the Museum of London collections.

Origin

Late 18th century: from obsolete layman, from Dutch leeman, from obsolete led, earlier form of lid 'joint'.

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