Exploring the Spectacle: Analyzing the Anatomical Prints in Andreas Vesalius' "De Humani Corporis Fabrica"
|West, Ashley D.
|Wasylkiwskyj, Larissa Ariadne
|In his innovative publication of 1543, De Humani Corporis Fabrica, the anatomist and physician Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564) transformed the traditional definition, theories, and representations of human anatomy, dissection, and anatomical theater. This particular project explores the transformation through an analysis of the Fabrica's frontispiece, osteological, and myological woodcuts, which are found in Book I and Book II. This paper argues that Vesalius conceives of his book, beginning with the frontispiece, as a theatrum, a constructed space for presenting knowledge visually to its reader-viewers. Within that space there is a tension in the Fabrica between its new empirical claims and its modes of representation, which emphasize instead the artificial, theatrical, and rhetorical. By incorporating elements of performance and spectacle and by decontextualizing the anatomical theater and its figures through the use of recognizable artistic conventions--including allegorical Dances of Death and ancient statuary--Vesalius manages to capture the viewer's unflinching visual attention while also disguising some of the more gruesome realities and destructive methods of human dissection.
|Temple University. Libraries
|Theses and Dissertations
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|Exploring the Spectacle: Analyzing the Anatomical Prints in Andreas Vesalius' "De Humani Corporis Fabrica"
|Braddock, Alan C., 1961-
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