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In 1543, a Flemish physician named Vesalius published a groundbreaking book called “De Humani Corporis Fabrica,” which translates: “On the Fabric of the Human Body.” He is considered to be the father of anatomy because he was the first physician to break societal and religious rules against cutting open a human body. He dared to cross that boundary with his knife and lay our interiors open for all to see. He radically changed our understanding of the human body and set a lot of misconceptions straight.
There is one boundary that he didn’t cross as successfully, however, and that was an understanding of the female body. If you were to page through his book, you’d see that out of the over 250 illustrations, perhaps one or two are of the female body. A more accurate title would have been “On the Fabric of the Male Body.” It’s possible that there was an even higher stigma against cutting into a woman, and that he was timid to cross that line. It’s also possible that his view of the world was male-centric and thus considered man to be more important. Whatever his motivations, nefarious or benign, modern medicine still smacks of the patriarchy and women still struggle to be taken seriously.
I’ve chosen to curate some of Vesalius’s drawings as a form of protest. If he only documented the male body, then let's all take a closer look. I cheekily think of this one as: The Headless Torso Opened to Show Internal Organs, but With a Very Particular External Organ Somehow Still Intact.
Single strand embroidery on cream cotton in a hand-painted 6 inch wooden hoop.
**PLEASE NOTE** This is a Made to Order embroidery, so small variations may occur (because: handmade) and (art). I'll need up to two weeks to stitch this for you; as soon as I receive the order, I'll contact you with an anticipated shipping date. Thank you for understanding that handmade art is a slow process with huge rewards.**