THE CURIOUS & GROTESQUE HISTORY OF THE ANATOMICAL MODEL


This face of a man with syphilis is part of a a new exhibition opening at the Wellcome Collection in London next week. It's called Exquisite Bodies and it's all about anatomical models and the Victorian gentleman who collected them. See more over at Morbid Anatomy.
In the 19th century, despite the best efforts of body snatchers, the demand from medical schools for fresh cadavers far outstripped the supply. One solution to this gruesome problem came in the form of lifelike wax models. These models often took the form of alluring female figures that could be stripped and split into different sections. Other models were more macabre, showing the body ravaged by 'social diseases' such as venereal disease, tuberculosis and alcohol and drug addiction.

With their capacity to titillate as well as educate, anatomical models became sought-after curiosities; displayed not only in dissecting rooms but also in sideshows and the curiosity cabinets of wealthy Victorian gentlemen. For a small admission fee, visitors seeking an unusual afternoon's entertainment could visit displays of these strange dolls in London, Paris, Brussels and Barcelona.


1 comment:

Konstantinos Passaris said...

Is it just my idea, or this face looks like Bruce Willis ? ))