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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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A realistically rendered view of the middle portion of a dissected pregnant woman and her baby, almost full-term. The woman’s upper body and legs have been removed. From William Hunter, The Anatomy of the Human Gravid Uterus (Birmingham, 1774). Copperplate engraving. Artist: Jan van Riemsdyk

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The Anatomy of the Human Gravid Uterus

Birmingham, 1774. Copperplate engraving. National Library of Medicine.

William Hunter
(1718-1783)
[anatomist]

Jan van Riemsdyk
(fl. 1750-1788)
[artist]

An eminent anatomist and obstetrician, Hunter confined himself to a specific topic (late pregnancy) and "subject" (the dissection of a woman who died near the end of term). Illustrations that represent only "what was actually seen," Hunter argued, will carry "the mark of truth" and be "almost as infallible as the object itself."



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