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Two anatomists dissecting a corpse, surrounded by birds, a cat, a dog and mice. Etching by S. Ireland after J. H. Mortimer, 17--.

  • Mortimer, John Hamilton, 1740-1779.
Reference
25697i
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view Two anatomists dissecting a corpse, surrounded by birds, a cat, a dog and mice. Etching by S. Ireland after J. H. Mortimer, 17--.

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Credit: Two anatomists dissecting a corpse, surrounded by birds, a cat, a dog and mice. Etching by S. Ireland after J. H. Mortimer, 17--. Wellcome Collection. Public Domain Mark

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About this work

Description

This print likens the two anatomists hovering over the head of the corpse to the birds of prey which are shown pecking at it. The presence of the birds also suggests the identification of the bespectacled anatomist as Dr William Hunter, who was known as Dr Ibis (Copping Corner 1951, p. 83). The owl that perches on this figure's head is the attribute of Athena and a symbol of wisdom while the rooster on that of his companion is Aesculapius's attribute and a symbol of medicine

Physical description

1 print : etching ; image 20.6 x 26.8 cm

Lettering

Mortimer del.t ; S. Ireland fecit

References note

G. Wolf-Heidegger and A. M. Cetto, Die anatomische Sektion in bildlicher Darstellung, Basel and New York 1967, nos 338-338a, pp. 374-375
B. Copping Corner, 'Dr Ibis and the artists: a sidelight upon Hunter's atlas, The gravid uterus', Journal of the History of Medicine, vi, 1951, pp. 1-21

Reference

Wellcome Library no. 25697i

Reproduction note

The pen and ink drawing by John Hamilton Mortimer, after which this etching by Samuel Ireland was made, is in the Clements C. Fry Collection of the Yale University Medical Library, New Haven, Connecticut

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