On the edges of myth and medicine, fetish and fine art
The unveiled female body
Clemente Susini’s Anatomical Venus, created 1780 – 1782, is the perfect object: one whose luxuriously bizarre existence challenges belief. This statue was conceived as a means of teaching human anatomy without the need for constant dissection, and tacitly communicated the relationship between the human body and a divinely created cosmos, between art and science, and between nature and mankind as it was then understood.
Since their creation in late XVIII century Florence, these wax women have seduced, intrigued and instructed. But in the XXI century, they also confound, flickering on the edges of medicine and myth, votive and vernacular, fetish and fine art.
Drawing on the scholarship of a broad array of medical and art historians, cultural theorists, and philosophers, this book contextualizes the Anatomical Venus, examining the beliefs and practices that led to her creation, then going on to investigate the very different ways she came to be framed and perceived in the XIX century, and finally to trace her curious after-lives in the XX and XXI centuries.
An astonishing book that through the intriguing enigma of the Anatomical Venus takes us back at a time when the study of nature was also the study of philosophy.
Joanna Ebenstein is a multidisciplinary artist, curator, writer, lecturer and graphic designer, interested in investigating in words, images, and spaces the places where spectacle and edification, science and art overlap. She originated the Morbid Anatomy blog and website. She has also worked with such institutions as the New York Academy of Medicine, the Dittrick Museum and the Vrolik Museum.
|Dimensions||cm 17,0 x 24,0|