Anatomia Humani Corporis

Considered as an artistic meditation on anatomy, Gerard de Lairesse’s designs are a total departure from the idealistic tradition inaugurated by the Vesalian woodcuts. They are also worlds apart from the productions of the Fialetti-Casserio collaboration. Lairesse displayed his figures with everyday realism and sensuality, contrasting the raw dissected parts of the body with the full, soft surfaces of undissected flesh surrounding them; placing flayed, bound figures in ordinary nightclothes or bedding; setting objects such as a book, a jar, a crawling fly in the same space as a dissected limb or torso. He thus brought the qualities of Dutch still-life painting into anatomical illustration, and gave a new, darker expression to the significance of dissection. De Lairesse’s images of dissected pregnancies and premature infants also reflect compassion–a quality unusual in art that was intended primarily to be scientific. (from Christies – link)

Image from lebody.tumblr (link). Anatomia Humani Corporis, Centum & Quinque Tabulis – Govard Bidloo, 1685.

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