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Paper Cuts: The Production of Knowledge in Early Modern Anatomical Prints

Moore, R; (2016) Paper Cuts: The Production of Knowledge in Early Modern Anatomical Prints. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis examines how cutting altered and reshaped the relation between image and body in early modern anatomical print. At the beginning of the sixteenth century renewed interest in anatomy brought about new visual conventions for representing the human body, and crucially it was through the cut that knowledge was constructed, disseminated and challenged. The engraver's burin could be seen to mimic the anatomist's knife, revealing new knowledge as the exterior surface of the plate or body was gouged away. The first chapter examines the anatomical fugitive sheets produced during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries that utilise the cut, both conceptually and materially, in order to construct a body that is spatialized. Users of fugitive prints not only forge this internal space they also introduce animation and potentially threaten to destabilise the image in the process. Chapter Two investigates prints in Charles Estienne's 1545 treatise, On the dissection of the parts of the human body, where the antique and mythological are employed to negotiate between the fixity that the print strives for and change, which is an integral aspect of the production of anatomical knowledge. Chapter Three focuses on two prints representing the eye in George Bartisch's 1583, On the Service of the Eyes, and provides the opportunity to address the unstable status of version and the observer's shifting position in relation to the image. The final chapter concerns a triptych of early seventeenth century fugitive sheets, Johann Remmelin's Mirrors of the microcosm. The intermingling of anatomy, allegory and ornament in Remmelin's prints suggest that they offered an opportunity for viewers to reflect on spiritual as well as medical concerns, while the many novel adaptations of these prints are also a reminder of how the process of uncovering self-knowledge accumulates over time, and can have varied outcomes.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Paper Cuts: The Production of Knowledge in Early Modern Anatomical Prints
Event: UCL
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Third party copyright material has been removed from ethesis.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of History of Art
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1507845
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