Cover image for Violence and the Genesis of the Anatomical Image By Rose Marie San Juan

Violence and the Genesis of the Anatomical Image

Rose Marie San Juan

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$119.95 | Hardcover Edition
ISBN: 978-0-271-09335-2

Available as an e-book

238 pages
8" × 10"
26 color/54 b&w illustrations
2023

Violence and the Genesis of the Anatomical Image

Rose Marie San Juan

“It is a rare thing to discover a book that is both engaging and profound. Violence and the Genesis of the Anatomical Image will change the way scholars approach early modern anatomical images, for, although the issue of violence has never been out of sight, no scholar has attempted anything like this sustained meditation on the problem. This book should be consulted by anyone interested in the early modern body, not to mention anatomy, medicine, art, and religion.”

 

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Nothing excited early modern anatomists more than touching a beating heart. In his 1543 treatise, Andreas Vesalius boasts that he was able to feel life itself through the membranes of a heart belonging to a man who had just been executed, a comment that appears near the woodcut of a person being dissected while still hanging from the gallows. In this highly original book, Rose Marie San Juan confronts the question of violence in the making of the early modern anatomical image.

Engaging the ways in which power operated in early modern anatomical images in Europe and, to a lesser extent, its colonies, San Juan examines literal violence upon bodies in a range of civic, religious, pedagogical, and “exploratory” contexts. She then works through the question of how bodies were thought to be constituted—systemic or piecemeal, singular or collective—and how gender determines this question of constitution. In confronting the issue of violence in the making of the anatomical image, San Juan explores not only how violence transformed the body into a powerful and troubling double but also how this kind of body permeated attempts to produce knowledge about the world at large.

Provocative and challenging, this book will be of significant interest to scholars across fields in early modern studies, including art history and visual culture, science, and medicine.

“It is a rare thing to discover a book that is both engaging and profound. Violence and the Genesis of the Anatomical Image will change the way scholars approach early modern anatomical images, for, although the issue of violence has never been out of sight, no scholar has attempted anything like this sustained meditation on the problem. This book should be consulted by anyone interested in the early modern body, not to mention anatomy, medicine, art, and religion.”

Rose Marie San Juan is Professor of Art History at University College London. She is the author of several books, including most recently Film and Urban Space: Critical Possibilities and Vertiginous Mirrors: The Animation of the Visual Image and Early Modern Travel.