Sep 21, 2010

Rib Cages

Rib Cages

early 1540s

Battista Franco

(Italian, c. 1510–1561)

Pen and brown ink

Support: Beige(1) laid paper, laid down on cream(3) laid(?) paper

Sheet: 11.6 x 23.8 cm (4 9/16 x 9 3/8 in.); Secondary Support: 11.6 x 23.8 cm (4 9/16 x 9 3/8 in.)

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Claude Cassirer 1964.383



Michelangelo was among the first artists in Europe to attend a human dissection and to adopt anatomical knowledge as a necessity for depicting the human figure. These drawings by Battista Franco reflect the increased—and slightly macabre—interest in the interior workings of the human body inspired in part by Michelangelo’s example. Here, the groupings of rib cages, though rendered accurately, are placed into decorative piles. The odd assembly vacillates between scientific study and a symbolic memento mori, or reminder of death.

See also
DR - Italian
Type of artwork: 

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