The early modern theatrical body performatively exchanged the imaginary and the real. The human body was not merely a physical object, but also a site of scrutiny, redefinition, and symbolic representation. Leonardo da Vinci’s investigations of every aspect of the human being embodied and completely transcend the complexity of this process of dynamic exchange between arts and sciences. This exhibit commemorates the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) and draws upon the Wangensteen Historical Library’s strong holdings in the history of anatomy by examining the interplay between anatomy, art, theater, poetry, and sciences. The exhibit is the result of an initial investigation into the majestic opera of Da Vinci and through the Wangensteen’s collection and shows a selection of these plates – in chronological order – placing them in dialogue with da Vinci’s models and legacy, by organizing examples of anatomical, artistic, and poetical works in eight thematic sections through a temporal path from the fifteenth to the eighteenth century
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