The Art of Anatomy Essay

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  942 Words
Date:  2022-03-10

Both artists and physicians have a common interest in the human body. During the early years, Aristotle and Galen used the dead bodies while looking for the secrete in life. Both the physicians and artists work toward saving a life, but an artist revives dead bodies. Anatomy of art is used to show the nature of anatomy, cadaver, and the moral condition of being dead and dissected. Significantly, the anatomy of the arts shows the dead as the representation of the living in our form and fate. According to Leonardo, any anatomic drawing should be as objective as possible. Period style influences the art of anatomy greatly because an individual modifies the period style to create something different. The availability of special techniques and resources determines the success of the final product. Therefore, lack of arts being involved in other fields, for example, medicine, would lead to difficult times and lack of facts.

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Leonard, through his drawings, found a solution to the field of medicine. During the process of dissecting, the use of chemical preservatives and refrigerators helped maintain the cadavers for an extended period without decomposing. Medics incorporated Leonardos' style where they could be able to analyze the findings in a more reliable way. For example, after the death of Leonardo, most of his drawings were not available, creating a challenge to the scientists. Only until the beginning of the 19th century after the reintroduction of the drawing, clarification on the nature of pure scientific drawings was made.

Art of anatomy allows an individual to emphasize more on practical rather than theory. For example, Berengario loved art, where he trusted what he saw more than a theory. Putting what he saw in practice, he would practice surgery. However, for Berengario, most of his drawings seem to be immoral and full of modernity. For example, female cadavers showing the female reproductive system are shameful. Vesalius's drawings are best known for better printing and have been used and adopted by my researchers in the field of medicine. Vesalius is recognized for introducing the modern scientific method, where well-printed drawings can be reviewed for later use. Step by step of how the cadavers moved from one stage to another with the help of medicine has been significantly appreciated. Most importantly, Vesalius knew the importance of an appealing picture, thus getting recognized.

Vesalius and Estienne revived the classical culture portraying sex. It is not clear why Estienne chose to focus on the topic of sex. Estienne was the first one to discover the clitoris and drew it and labeled it in a nude picture of a female. Estienne had an assumption that the clitoris was entitled to urinary function, a mistake corrected later by Fallopia. Dissecting the dead, however, has been seen as a lack of respect for them. Galen made a dissect to a monkey. Some anatomist was not happy with him, but Galen was recognized and praised by others. For example, anatomist Juan Valverde praised Galen of being the first one to differentiate between man and ape. This was a significant contribution that has been recognized up to date.

Cheselden is recognized for bringing in a new perspective of contrasting and comparing drawings for accurate information. For example, the use of a chimpanzee skeleton help solves the controversies between the nature of a man and an ape. Cheselden's science of drawing is factual and rational. Albinus, in his drawings where he engaged Wandelaar, they used color to paint. By adding color, it means that Albinus wanted to add "value" to the drawings. Colour printing now was massively developing with different people adopting it. Coloring would help artists to emphasize on what they took necessary for more understanding to their audience. Other features are engaged in the background of the drawing sheet to create a more appealing scene. Albinus brought to an end an era that made the absent men present and shown the dead as living.

Henceforth, the artist would show the dead as dead, and the art would never reveal the cadavers in a moral or poetic environment. Wandelaar was recognized for bringing out reality as an illusion. Where to use color in the drawings, brought severe debate in the art of anatomy. Some anatomists have criticized the use of colors. For example, Gautier's drawings, which were supposed to be displayed on the pharmacists, surgeons, and midwives, looked like carnival pictures rather than scientific drawings. Most of the drawings from the young surgeons though considered the best were not the best. Midwives reported that most of these surgeons were ill-trained and faced challenges in administering childbirth.

Due to the rising incidences of death during birth, either of the mother or the child, Scot William Smellie and William Hunter, sought to provide a solution. Both sought to improve the accuracy of the anatomic details and essential measurement. William Hunter explained that nature does everything for the mother and child and, therefore, no need for art. The dispute between art and science continues. Otherwise, the old anatomy has dramatically influenced romantic anatomy. Coloring art cannot be excluded despite the disagreement among various artists. For example, an American artist Thomas Eakins used some cadavers for teaching purposes. Eakins could not refrain from painting the cadavers for clear understanding.


In conclusion, the evolution of the art of anatomy has been gradual full of many critics from some artists. Separating art from science is not possible. However, as seen from the above discussion, some art could have meaning while others do not. Coloring, according to Eakins, allows portraying the natural science. Therefore, it is true that without art in science, many problems would still be unsolved.

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