Art Anatomy

The Ear

The ear consists of a number of shell-like, mostly cartiliginous forms.

The concha (CONK-uh) is the transverse loop of wall forming the base of the ear that can easily be seen from behind. It projects the back of the ear away from the side of the head, favoring our hearing to the front. The anterior wall of the concha can be seen in the hollow below the hole of the ear.

The helix is the long outer spiral. It almost makes a complete loop, touching the lobe on the bottom and spiraling around toward the head to touch the concha. The anterior part of the helix is called the leg. The helix also has a tubercle, a slight swelling on the upper posterior corner.

The tragus (TRAY-gus) and antitragus cover the hole of the ear with small nubbins of cartilage. The tragus consists of two bumps that together form a protective trapeziodal flap, separated from the helix by the anterior notch of the ear. Below, a U-shaped ridge of cartilage leads around to the antitragus, which is a more conspicuous bump. The antitragus side of the ridge is fuller. A drawing shorthand for this region would consist of two bumps, a U, and another bump.

The antihelix is the short inner spiral of the ear. It terminates in the antitragus below. At the top it splits into two legs that tuck under the helix and disappear. The upper leg is fuller and flatter; the lower one is more pinched. The notch between them is the triangular fossa. The depression between the helix and the antihelix is called the scapha.

At the bottom is the lobe, which rounds out the bottom of the ear and attaches to the side of the head.

Previous: The Lips

Next: The Breast

Table of Contents