Anatomy’s Photography: Objectivity, showmanship and the reinvention of the anatomical image 1860-1950

Ambicioso proyecto de Michael Sappol sobre el nacimiento de la fotografía anatómica hacia 1850 y su desarrollo hasta 1950

REMEDIA

By Michael Sappol

“There is, perhaps, no art that has made such rapid strides…as that of photography.… No science of modern times has more engaged the attention of philosophic investigators…. No science or art not strictly medical…will more richly repay the scientific physician.” So argued Ransford E. Van Gieson in an 1860 issue of the New York Medical Journal. Intoxicated with photography, “this truly beautiful science” in “this the most progressive of all centuries,” the 24-year-old surgeon from Brooklyn, New York, made a pact with his medical readers: we physician-photographers will be vectors of science and modernity.

The anatomical photograph as grand guignol. Eugène-Louis Doyen’s topographical anatomical method turned the body into a series of measured cross-sectional slices. Here he poses the subject to confront the viewer with staring imploring eyes, turning the image into a scene of horror. Eugène-Louis Doyen, Atlas d'anatomie topographique (Paris, 1911-12). © National Library of Medicine. The anatomical photograph as grand guignol. Eugène-Louis Doyen’s topographical anatomical method turned the body into a series of measured cross-sectional slices. Here he poses the subject to confront the viewer with staring imploring eyes, turning the image into a scene of horror. Eugène-Louis Doyen, Atlas d’anatomie topographique (Paris, 1911-12). © National Library…

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Acerca de Leoncio López-Ocón
Historiador. Investigador del Instituto de Historia del Centro de Ciencias Humanas y Sociales del CSIC. Madrid.

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