The fine art of anatomy
Most people think that art and science are poles apart. Rohin Francis shows that this is not so
Long before da Vinci or even Galen, from the very dawn of our existence, we have been fascinated by the human form. The worlds of art and science are so often portrayed as being poles apart, but in one area in particular the two merge indistinguishably. A fundamental aspect of the human race is to try to understand how we function. The history of anatomical study is a remarkable evolution in our understanding of how the body works and a field where scientific pursuit and artistic drives have always been intertwined. It has, however, been a select few who have shaped the way we regard anatomy and who have taught us what we know.
One can trace this back to the very birth of art. The Venus of Willendorf, found in Austria, is generally accepted as the first example of prehistoric art. It has been dated to about 30 000