Carved anatomical male figure, Italy, 1801–1900

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Carved anatomical male figure, Italy, 1801–1900. Carved from boxwood, this anatomical figure showing the muscles without the skin is known as an écorché. Anatomical figures were used to teach medical students anatomy as there was a shortage of bodies available for dissection. Preservation was also difficult. The figures were valued for their visual appeal and were often presented in stylised artistic poses. This example was bought from an Italian collector by one of Henry Wellcome’s collecting agents, Captain Johnston-Saint, in September 1931. Contributors: Science Museum, London. Work ID: ggesv7z7.

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