Andreas Vesalius, otherwise known as the Father of Anatomy, was a Flemish physician who lived in the 1500s. He earned his nickname by being one of the first to take a knife to a human body and peering inside. For centuries, no one had dared go against social and religious norms to do this, so the best physicians could do was dissect a dog and surmise that our internal workings were mostly the same.
This wasn't good enough for Vesalius. He stole cadavers, convinced authorities to give him the bodies of executed criminals, and he took them apart, piece by piece. Lucky for medical science, and for us lay people, he drew hundreds of illustrations based on what he discovered. And also lucky for us, he didn't draw boring scientific pictures. He staged his bodies (on paper...I have NO idea if he did this irl) and the result was illustrations like this one, of the intercostal muscles.
Am I crazy to wonder why this dissected body is leaning against a crumbling wall with its flayed muscles draping from the bones? Or why the right hand appears to be pointing downward at the section of ribcage that's been sawed off the body?
Part of me thinks that to be such a radical rule breaker, Vesalius must've also been a little off. Which obviously earns him a starring role at UncouthCurations. I think his illustrations are too delightfully creepy to be hidden away in musty old medical books. They deserve new life in thread, readied for display on our own walls, crumbling or not.
Single-strand, hand embroidery on cream cotton in a 7 x 9 inch hand-painted, wooden frame. The art itself measures 4 x 6 inches.