It’s been a while… but it’s monday and I felt like doing something other than freaking out today, so here I am again.
An Anatomical Venus is a wax model of a female, that either has her organs in sight, or can be dissected by means of removable parts. The dolls were invented in the late 18th century (Victorian Era) to educate both physicians and laymen about the peculiarities of female anatomy. If not in a medical institution, an Anatomical Venus could often be found on display in traveling sideshows. Women were allowed and even encouraged to visit these expositions, as it was deemed important they learned about the workings of their own body. The displays also served to warn the general populace of the dangers of promiscuity, as there was often a whole section of them devoted to venereal diseases.
Nevertheless, the models usually had very beautiful features, and sometimes they were placed in oddly sensual positions. The contrast between esthetic attraction and repulsion is quite strange… and to me, quite enticing also.
There just is something about seeing a beautiful woman with her skin peeled back and her organs spread out on the table that sends a tingle of delight over my skin… I don’t think I need to elaborate on why I picked this for Memento Mori monday, right?
It reminds me of some modern art by Daniel Hirst I saw in an exposition lately, but stranger, knowing that these weren’t meant as art per se.
This is basically the predecessor of the famous Körperwelten exposition, and I imagine it must have drawn a similarly intrigued public back in the days…
For more information about the Anatomical Venus, check:http://www.wellcome.ac.uk/en/wc/anatomical-venus/index.htm
For more intriguing pictures of anatomical models and doctor dolls, this Pinterest board is without compare: