The Lady Anatomist: The Life and Work of Anna Morandi Manzolini

Hardcover | December 15, 2010

byRebecca Messbarger

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Anna Morandi Manzolini (1714-74), a woman artist and scientist, surmounted meager origins and limited formal education to become one of the most acclaimed anatomical sculptors of the Enlightenment. The Lady Anatomist tells the story of her arresting life and times, in light of the intertwined histories of science, gender, and art that complicated her rise to fame in the eighteenth century.

Examining the details of Morandi’s remarkable life, Rebecca Messbarger traces her intellectual trajectory from provincial artist to internationally renowned anatomical wax modeler for the University of Bologna’s famous medical school. Placing Morandi’s work within its cultural and historical context, as well as in line with the Italian tradition of anatomical studies and design, Messbarger uncovers the messages contained within Morandi’s wax inscriptions, part complex theories of the body and part poetry. Widely appealing to those with an interest in the tangled histories of art and the body, and including lavish, full-color reproductions of Morandi’s work, The Lady Anatomist is a sophisticated biography of a true visionary.

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From the Publisher

Anna Morandi Manzolini (1714-74), a woman artist and scientist, surmounted meager origins and limited formal education to become one of the most acclaimed anatomical sculptors of the Enlightenment. The Lady Anatomist tells the story of her arresting life and times, in light of the intertwined histories of science, gender, and art that ...

Rebecca Messbarger is associate professor in romance languages at Washington University in St. Louis and the coeditor and cotranslator of The Contest for Knowledge: Debates over Women’s Learning in Eighteenth-Century Italy,also published by the University of Chicago Press.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:248 pages, 10 × 7 × 0.9 inPublished:December 15, 2010Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226520811

ISBN - 13:9780226520810

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Acknowledgments

Introduction: Changing the Angle of Vision

1  The Pope’s Anatomy Museum

2  Professing Anatomy

3  Re-casting

4  The Lady Anatomist

Esse est Percipi: Hands and Eyes

6  Beneath the Fig Leaf: The Male Reproductive System and Genitalia

Cessio ac Venditio: The Final Years and the End of an Age

Notes

Bibliography

Index

Editorial Reviews

 “Rebecca Messbarger has filled the gap with a beautiful book based on extensive research in Italian archives and thoughtful analysis of Morandi’s work within the contexts of contemporary anatomy and learned culture. . . . Her analysis of Morandi’s self-portrait, or ‘visual autobiography,’ is both sensual and illuminating, as is the chapter dealing with Morandi’s work on the sensory organs. Messbarger also provides an excellent account of the process of making wax models. . . . The many photographs make The Lady Anatomist an attractive volume, but they are also brilliantly employed as an integral part of the narration. They make me wish I could some day go back to Bologna to see Morandi’s waxes again. Thanks to Messbarger, I would see them in a new light.”