Wednesday, 3 January 2007

The History of Anatomy – Claudius Galen

Claudius Galen was a medical officer to the gladiator at a gladiator school and lived between 129 - 201 AD and later on he became the physician to the emporour Marcus Aurelius.

While working as a medical officer he gained first hand experience of wounds and the treatment of them. Later on in life he described them as "Windows to the body". He became a pioneer in the art of mediciene performing both eye and brain surgery and later moved to Rome where he lecturered on his knowlege of anatomy and became a physician to the Empourer Marcus Aurelius.

Continueing on with his research and to try and work out the purpose of various organs within the body he performed dissections on pigs and apes, his favourite being the Barbary Ape. Although his research was not entirely accurate and many of the assumptions he made from the animal dissections were later proved to be wrong, his work was virtually preached throughtout the middle ages.

So what does the egyptian studies of medicine and the work of a Roman Physician have to do with art? Well it shows how the study of anatomy began and how it lead on to a facination with what lay inside the body and how artists used that knowledge to portray the inside workings of the body to their audiences.




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