Earlier this year I was asked to write a caption to accompany an item from the Library of William Hunter, to be temporarily displayed as part of the Hunterian Museums permanent exhibition:William Hunter: Man, Medic and Collector.
Hunter’s Library is an impressive compendium of some 10,000 printed books and 650 manuscripts and is considered to be one of today’s finest surviving 18th century libraries. With such a vast array of material to choose from I decided to explore the Library with my own background in mind: Art History. The relationship between anatomists and artists is one that I have always found to be fascinating; particularly the absolute skill and fidelity shown by artists in producing accurate representations of the human form.
With an existing knowledge of such texts including Vesalius’ De Humani Corporis Fabrica Libri Septem (Basel 1543) (On the fabric of the human body in seven books)…
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