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The Lady AnatomistThe Life and Work of Anna Morandi Manzolini$
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Rebecca Messbarger

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780226520810

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226520841.001.0001

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The Pope's Anatomy Museum

The Pope's Anatomy Museum

(p.20) 1 The Pope's Anatomy Museum
The Lady Anatomist
University of Chicago Press

This chapter, which reports the story of Pope Benedict XIV's Anatomy Museum as a frame for the origins and distinctions of Anna Morandi's anatomical practice, explores the sanctioned visions of the body and femininity in Bologna's principal dissection scenes, real and virtual. The museum artfully incorporated the spectacle, symbolism, and science of Bologna's Carnival Dissection. Benedict XIV became a protector of Anna Morandi at a precarious moment in her anatomical career. Sexual difference was a defining theme of the museum. Ercole Lelli's idealized vision of the body proclaimed the truth value of anatomical sculpture in its exacting replication of nature and in its classical aesthetic and moral effect. Morandi's expert lessons transported the anatomized body from the ghostly gloom of the Carnival Dissection into the clear light of the scientific laboratory.

Keywords:   Anna Morandi, Anatomy Museum, Pope Benedict XIV, Bologna, Carnival Dissection, Ercole Lelli

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