Wednesday, February 16, 2011

De humani corporis fabrica libri decem

I am in love with super old medical illustration/etchings. What intrigues me the most about pieces like this is that the artists usually worked from life. So they would arrange and pose corpses to draw exactly what was on the insides. The people are often quite alive looking. Skeletons walk, skinned men grin, and the deceased may even be depicted looking into their insides. This man appears embarrassed, exposed, yet modest while he allows us to take a peek. This particular collection of images were created by Adriaan van de Spiegel and Giulio Casseri. The hint of nature in the background makes you think that perhaps he was just some guy walking down the road and was stopped to pose for a picture. "Oh, my! What wonderful insides you have! I must take a look!" Though not meant to be humorous, I can't suppress a chuckle when looking through these. There are more of their works here: Historical Anatomies


  1. It kinda cracks me up that the figures are walking around smiling while their innards are all exposed like that. I feel like it's a concept you could really play with in an illustration where a figure was lifting back their clothes to expose themselves, only instead of exposing a naked breast or whatever, they would be exposing something deeper. It's a fun juxtaposition of sensual vs. macabre.

  2. I've been so excited to see the rest of these! They are so beautifully bizarre.