March 15, 2004

Anatomia Universa

At the University of Iowa’s John Martin Library’s Rare Book Room there is a copy of the remarkable Anatomia Universa of Paolo Mascagni, whose 44 hand-coloured plates they have scanned and made available for on-line viewing.

Composite image of three hand-coloured anatomical lithographs after designs by Paolo Mascagni from his book 'Anatomia Universa', Pisa, 1823-1832.Top of composite image comprising three hand-coloured anatomical lithographs after designs by Paolo Mascagni from his book 'Anatomia Universa', Pisa, 1823-1832.Middle of composite image comprising three hand-coloured anatomical lithographs after designs by Paolo Mascagni from his book 'Anatomia Universa', Pisa, 1823-1832.Bottom of composite image comprising three hand-coloured anatomical lithographs after designs by Paolo Mascagni from his book 'Anatomia Universa', Pisa, 1823-1832.
The book was published [posthumously - Mascagni died in 1815] in a series of nine parts between 1823 and 1832 at Pisa. Each of the 44 plates in the University of Iowa copy is hand-colored and accompanied by a duplicate outline plate which contains nomenclature for identifying the anatomical parts in the accompanying volume of text. The plates are so large that it has never been bound and is stored in a large book-shaped wooden box especially constructed for that purpose. The plates are so designed that a man five and one-half feet tall can be assembled from three of the plates if they are joined together. The plates were superbly engraved and the hand-coloring by pen and brush was done so carefully and with such skill that the artist often achieved a three-dimensional effect.
Composite image of three hand-coloured anatomical lithographs after designs by Paolo Mascagni from his book 'Anatomia Universa', Pisa, 1823-1832.Top of composite image comprising three hand-coloured anatomical lithographs after designs by Paolo Mascagni from his book 'Anatomia Universa', Pisa, 1823-1832.Middle of composite image comprising three hand-coloured anatomical lithographs after designs by Paolo Mascagni from his book 'Anatomia Universa', Pisa, 1823-1832.Bottom of composite image comprising three hand-coloured anatomical lithographs after designs by Paolo Mascagni from his book 'Anatomia Universa', Pisa, 1823-1832.

Each of the two images above are composites of three of Mascagni’s plates, which I have rather ineptly spliced together, hence the visible ‘joins’. Click on the relevant potions of the images to see the individual plates in isolation.

Posted by misteraitch at March 15, 2004 10:17 AM | TrackBack