November 06, 2018
Excerpt from "Beautiful Monsters, How Deformity Can Be Elegant" chapter 5 at Elegant Anatomy, Marieke M. A. Hendriksen
So far, the preparations from the eighteenth-century Leiden anatomical collections appear to be predominantly examples of normal - or even perfect - human anatomy, prepared in such a way that they convey the aesthesis of anatomy. The result of particular yet tacit ideas of beauty, perfection and elegance, most of the body parts were chosen for these preparations because they were already in themselves perfect specimens: there are no obvious pathologies, and most of them were (part of) young, lean, healthy bodies. (…) Yet ultimately, severed body parts on the brink of decay - the ultimate emblem of disgust — are the constituents of this collection, and as in the course of the eighteenth-century research into pathology and abnormalities became increasingly important, an aesthesis ex negativo emerged: an aesthesis of the ugly and the imperfect.
Source: Elegant Anatomy, The Eighteenth-Century Leiden Anatomical Collections. Marieke M. A. Hendriksen (2015)
Source URL: https://brill.com/view/title/24846
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