Tag Archives: Frederik Ruysch

The Dutch anatomy lessons

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Fig 1. The Anatomy Lesson of Dr Nicolaes Tulp. 1632. Rembrandt van Rijn. Mauritshuis. The Hellenistic anatomist Herophilus (c. 330- c. 260 BC) and the physiologist Erasistratus (c. 325– c. 250 BC) were granted limited permission to dissect executed criminals with consent of the first Ptolemaic Pharaohs. This practice, […]

Laughing in the face of death: Ruysch, dark humor & subversion of the memento mori in anatomical art

Stefania Spano Kingston, Ontario, Canada   A history of dark humor La Catarina depicts the skeleton of a high-society woman, created for Día de los Muertos. Image © Tomas Castelazo, www.tomascastelazo.com Humor is an ancient tool for subverting tragedy. Parody and satire persuade audiences that even the greatest of grief can be made comical. Art […]