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Arm Bones

early 1540s
(Italian, c. 1510–1561)
Sheet: 11.8 x 36.7 cm (4 5/8 x 14 7/16 in.); Secondary Support: 11.8 x 36.7 cm (4 5/8 x 14 7/16 in.)
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Location: not on view

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Description

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 arm bones, though rendered accurately, are placed into decorative piles. The odd assembly vacillates between scientific study and a symbolic memento mori, or reminder of death.
Arm Bones

Arm Bones

early 1540s

Battista Franco

(Italian, c. 1510–1561)
Italy, 16th century

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