The Anatomical Venus - the exhibition catalogue from Morbid Anatomy Museum available to buy at Museum Bookstore

The Anatomical Venus

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'wonderful and epically illustrated book' - The Telegraph

A beautifully illustrated book all about the Anatomical Venus - life-sized dissectible wax women created in 18th-century Florence.

The first book of its kind, The Anatomical Venus, by Morbid Anatomy Museum co-founder Joanna Ebenstein, features over 250 images—many never before published. The waxworks are spectacularly photographed, in rich colour.

Alongside these images are five essays on different topics related to the Anatomical Venus as well as a substantial introduction. The first essay sets the Anatomical Venus in broad historical context, delving into the Renaissance origins of anatomical waxworks. The second essay, "From Sacred to Scientific Use of Wax" investigates the material history of wax in the production of many kinds of human-like figures, from religious relics to the Anatomical Venus. The third essay, "Venus at the Fairground," considers the Anatomical Venus in relation to popular culture.

A strangely delightful addition to your library.

  • Author: Joanna Ebenstein, Morbid Anatomy Museum Co-founder
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Date published: May 2016
  • Language: English
  • Delivery: Allow 1-2 weeks
  • ISBN: 978-0500252185
  • Dimensions: 24.8 x 17.9 x 2.7 cm

'In this exquisitely illustrated study, artist Ebenstein, founder of the Morbid Anatomy Museum in Brooklyn, finds her peculiar subject at the intersection of science and art in 18th-century Florence... This book raises intriguing questions about science, religion, philosophy, beauty, sex, desire, and art while tracing the influence of these macabre sculptures through the centuries' - Publishers Weekly

'wonderful and epically illustrated book' - The Telegraph

'The waxworks are spectacularly photographed, in rich color, from intimate angles. One is rarely so privileged to peer so closely into the interior reaches of the body. The photographs capture the astonishing beauty of these objects along with their equally astonishing capacity to horrify'  - The Victorian Web

'Joanna Ebenstein's sumptuous book is fascinated by this era in which the study of nature was also the study of philosophy; in which a body created for medical purposes could also be read as a work of art' - Guardian

'Fabulous … A mesmerising marriage of art and science' - Tatler

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