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Encyclopaedia Anatomica
Monika von Düring et al.:
Encyclopaedia Anatomica
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They say that learning its arrangement is like learning the road map of an entire country. It has for centuries been the site of the most concentrated human enquiry, and while many of its mysteries have been solved, it continues to fascinate, provoke and disturb. An understanding of the anatomy of the human body remains the foundation of medical science. It has intrigued everyone from the Greeks through to Leonardo da Vincl. And it fascinated the curious of the 18th century. Witness the eccentric Museo La Specola in Florence, a waxworks celebration of the interior. With 27 wax bodies and 1500 part and organ studies, collected by Peter Leopold von Lothringen from places as diverse as churches, hospitals and universities, this is a veritable cathedral to the human form. Whether it be the skeleton or vein structures, organs or nerves, arteries or the complexities of the skin, all are here reproduced in extraordinary detail. With the added benefit of a commentary from the modern perspective, this enormous book merely represents its vast subject. There are reasons why certain historical investigations become definitive in their field. The passage of time does not see them bettered. The wax anatomies of Museo La Specola remain one such case. Madame Tussaud's this isn't. Take a look behind the scenes.

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