It Takes Artists and Scientists to Understand the Human Body, Monique Kornell, δημοσίευση στο Getty [8/2/2022]Marilena Pateraki
As a medical student at the University of Bologna in the late-18th century, you might have strolled home through the covered arcade of the Portico del Pavaglione, nipped into the printmaker’s shop owned by Antonio Cattani and his partner Antonio Nerozzi, and bought anatomical prints that mapped the body in actual size.
Aspiring painters were also among the shop’s customers since the prints were initially marketed to them; anatomy was a basic component of artistic training, and art students could consult the prints during life drawing classes to quickly resolve questions of form and contour.
In 2014 the Getty Research Institute (GRI) acquired three life-size figures by Cattani. These rare works, made up of five joined prints each, show figures based on anatomical sculptures by the Bolognese painter and sculptor Ercole Lelli. Two of these, carved of wood, still flank the lecturer’s seat in the University of Bologna’s anatomy theatre and were well known to any student attending a dissection. Cattani’s figures also feature in Flesh and Bones: The Art of Anatomy, an exhibition exploring different methods of representing anatomy from the Renaissance to modern day. From impressive life-size illustrations to delicate paper flaps that lift to reveal the body’s interior, Flesh and Bones explores the body’s structure through a range of media. These often visually arresting images both instruct and evoke wonder and curiosity about the human body.
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