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Skeleton of a boy sitting on the 'D' of 'Dream', from Francesco Bertinatti, Elementi di anatomia fisiologica applicata alle belle arti figurative (Turin, 1837-39).  Artist: Mecco Leone. Lithograph
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Online Activities


Anatomy and printing technologies: Anatomical illustrations have a close tie to printing and illustration technologies that have developed over the past 500 years. As a violinist may seek a well-crafted violin with a beautiful sound, many anatomists have sought methods that would best illustrate human body for science and art.

  1. Explore various printing technologies employed by anatomists and artists in "Technologies of Anatomical Representations."
  2. As you learn about each 'technology,' evaluate its usefulness and limitations.
  3. Now, visit Dream Anatomy Gallery, and try to guess the printing/illustration method used to create the images. Be sure to click on the thumbnail images to see whether you guessed right!

Whose bodies are they?: Today, people may choose to donate their bodies to science. But for centuries human dissection evoked fear and mystery and was, in some cases, banned. When most people did not wish nor imagine being dissected, whose bodies did anatomists dissect to learn about human anatomy?

  1. Evaluate the two illustrations in "Cadaver's Perspective: Dream Anatomy vs. Anatomical Reality" section. Afterwards, read about whose bodies were dissected and how anatomists might acquire the bodies.
  2. As you view the anatomical illustrations below, think of the purpose of each illustration. Does the illustration convey emotion as well as anatomical information? Would you speculate that there are more differences than similarities between the anatomical illustration and the people whose bodies were dissected to create the illustration?
    1. Anatomiae, hoc est, corporis humani dissectionis...:
    2. Systemized Anatomy; or Human Organography:
    3. Man as Industrial Palace:
  3. View other images in the Gallery and explore various purposes with which the anatomists and/or artists created the images.