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BOOKS IN THE MEDIA

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 4/12/2016

The Anatomical Venus, a PW Top Pick!

Joanna Ebenstein's fascinating forthcoming study of life-sized dissectible female wax medical models, The Anatomical Venus: Wax, God, Death & the Ecstatic, gets a glowing review from the bookseller's bible, Publisher's Weekly. Read the full text below and preorder here!

The Anatomical Venus, a PW Top Pick!

In this exquisitely illustrated study, artist Ebenstein, founder of the Morbid Anatomy Museum in Brooklyn, finds her peculiar subject at the intersection of science and art in 18th-century Florence. The original Anatomical Venus is a life-size, dissectible female figure, meticulously sculpted from delicately pigmented wax by artist Clemente Susini for Florence’s Natural History Museum. The Venus and her subsequent wax sisters were created with the aim of teaching anatomy to a popular audience. The placid faces of these figures are framed by human hair, and they are often bedecked with necklaces and silk bows. They recline languorously on satin cushions. Various sections of these Slashed Beauties, as they came to be called, can be removed to show the organs and the muscles beneath the skin.

The Anatomical Venus, a PW Top Pick!

Created in Europe at a time when public executions and dissections were forms of entertainment and the Paris morgue was considered a major tourist attraction, these wax creations were not perceived as disturbing to viewers. This book raises intriguing questions about science, religion, philosophy, beauty, sex, desire, and art while tracing the influence of these macabre sculptures through the centuries. Ebenstein touches on fetishism, necrophilia, dancing dolls, sex toys, and even “Resusci Anne,” the doll created in the 1960 to teach CPR. The subject is explored just as astutely visually, with images that evoke a range of emotions, including horror, awe, and, most of all, deep interest.

The Anatomical Venus, a PW Top Pick!
The Anatomical Venus, a PW Top Pick!
The Anatomical Venus, a PW Top Pick!
The Anatomical Venus, a PW Top Pick!
The Anatomical Venus, a PW Top Pick!
The Anatomical Venus, a PW Top Pick!

The Anatomical Venus

The Anatomical Venus

D.A.P./DISTRIBUTED ART PUBLISHERS
Hbk, 6.75 x 9.5 in. / 224 pgs / 250 color.

$35.00  free shipping





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