The Cultural History of Art
and Anatomy Along the
A Lecture by Kevin Petti, Ph.D.
February 14, 2014, 5 p.m.
Waldner Performing Arts Center
Italy's medieval universities established the study of human anatomy for physicians. To heighten their art, Renaissance masters clandestinely examined anatomy through human dissection. The profound nexus between art and science is best demonstrated by the genius of Michelangelo. Indeed, the wooden crucifix he carved in gratitude for secret access to corpses from a convent's hospital still hangs in the Basilica of Santo Spirito in Florence. This lecture tells the 1,000-year story of anatomy as an academic discipline. From its inclusion into the curriculum of the earliest universities, to the construction of the first permanent dissection theatres, to the invention of visually arresting wax anatomy models, the history of anatomy is an interdisciplinary saga that evolved along the Italian peninsula.