Dissection

A man sits on a high lecturn with a book while another cuts a body on a table while others look on.

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This is the first realistic depiction of an anatomy lecture held at a university, namely in an academic hall at the University of Padua. In the chair, a relatively junior doctor, the lector, is set to recite from Mondino’s Anathomia. Behind the table, to our right, a senior doctor begins to point, in his role of demonstrator or ostensor. The basket in front will collect all the parts, to be carefully reunited with the corpse for burial. One only wishes we could see the faces of the attending students, from whose angle we are looking at the scene.

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