The Anatomical Venus: Wax, God, Death & the Ecstatic

The inimitable Joana Ebenstein of The Morbid Anatomy Museum has just published a remarkable book on the subject of the Anatomical Venus.

713oN0JPiEL

Of all the artifacts from the history of medicine, the Anatomical Venus―with its heady mixture of beauty, eroticism and death―is the most seductive. These life-sized dissectible wax women reclining on moth-eaten velvet cushions―with glass eyes, strings of pearls, and golden tiaras crowning their real human hair―were created in eighteenth-century Florence as the centerpiece of the first truly public science museum.

81u16tHaK6L

Conceived as a means to teach human anatomy, the Venus also tacitly communicated the relationship between the human body and a divinely created cosmos; between art and science, nature and mankind. Today, she both intrigues and confounds, troubling our neat categorical divides between life and death, body and soul, effigy and pedagogy, entertainment and education, kitsch and art.

81VgyfMVGWL

The book is extensively researched and features over 250 images. It looks absolutely amazing. I’m sure many readers of this blog will want to pick up a copy. Let me know what you think!

71DT6z3akFL

The Anatomical Venus: Wax, God, Death & the Ecstatic

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: