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A human head dissected: "In memoriam". Acrylic painting by R. Ennis, 2001.

Ennis, Richard, 1958-

Selected images from this work

About this work

Also known as

In memoriam


The painting was painted as a memorial to a friend of the painter who had died of squamous cell carcinoma, manifested in cancer first of the lip and subsequently of much of the face. Rather than paint a traditional memento mori, the artist decided to create something more positive: an anatomical tribute to the complexity and beauty of the human head. For the anatomical details the artist based his composition on small wax models at La Specola in Florence, while also consulting a pathologist and a surgeon about the layering of the various organs crammed together into the head



Physical description

1 painting : acrylic on wood ; wood 140 x 120 cm

Publications note

Sarah Smith, 'Open access', Bluesci: Cambridge University science magazine, Easter 2014, front cover and p. 3
Ned Beauman, 'The house of wax',, 21 April 2016


Wellcome Library no. 2016203i



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