“Berengario’s books show animated cadavers and skeletons set in a landscape, often so animated that they’re displaying their own dissecting bodies to the viewer.”
For centuries, doctors and artists have relied on renderings of the human body for their training. Until the Renaissance, anatomy studies were primarily textual, but in the late 15th and early 16th centuries illustrated anatomy books began to be published in greater numbers. Macabre prints of flayed bodies painstakingly depicted muscles, veins, and nerves, and allowed for a far better understanding of the human form. In the 19th and 20th centuries, anatomy studies were also targeted to general audiences, and moralizing flap books with Christian themes, children’s toys with removable body parts, and wax models for museum exhibitions gained popularity. The Getty Research Institute exhibition Flesh and Bones: The Art of Anatomy explores this long history of illustrating the body.
In this episode, scholar and independent curator Monique Kornell, GRI curator of prints and drawings Naoko Takahatake, and GRI research associate Thisbe Gensler survey this history. They move from the 16th century books by anatomist Andreas Vesalius to contemporary artworks by Robert Rauschenberg and Tavares Strachan, explaining the relevance of anatomy studies across time.
For images, transcripts, and more, visit https://blogs.getty.edu/iris/podcast-the-art-of-anatomy-from-the-16th-century-to-today/ or http://www.getty.edu/podcasts
To learn more about the exhibition Flesh and Bones: The Art of Anatomy, visit https://www.getty.edu/research/exhibitions_events/exhibitions/anatomy/
To buy Flesh and Bones: The Art of Anatomy, visit https://shop.getty.edu/products/flesh-and-bones-the-art-of-anatomy-978-1606067697