Friday, June 24, 2011

The Supplement: The écorchés of Honoré Fragonard


Mixing science and art, the 'flayed figures' of 18th century french anatomist Honoré Fragonard.
Yep, these are real human bodies:

"...preserved, injected, partially dissected bodies in lifelike, dramatic poses, with ragged strips of muscle draped like primitive clothing over exposed vessels and nerves. The effect is eerie - like a Vesalius illustration sprung to (half-)life"

"a body, chosen for its leanness, had its large superficial veins cut in several places to drain it of blood, and then it was washed and placed in a heated water bath to warm it in preparation for the injections into the heart and vessels. The substance injected was a mixture of resin, tallow, oil, and beeswax and was stained red for the arteries, blue for the veins. . . . Once the body had been injected, it was then dissected as rapidly as possible before decomposition set in."

1 comment:

  1. great find, Tom - suitably ghoulish; there's a distinct whiff of 'Hellraiser' going on here. I remember a trip to Florence when I first visited 'La Specola', with its wondrous recreations of dissected bodies rendered entirely in wax - a queasy experience!

    http://www.geobeats.com/videoclips/italy/florence/la-specola

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