History of Art
Professor Rose Marie San Juan, Inaugural Lecture
Tuesday 13 May 2014 - 6.30pm
Wilkins Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre, 2nd Floor, South Junction, Wilkins Building, UCL, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT
In the early modern city, public corporal punishment and the anatomical theatre became interconnected in unexpected ways, and not simply because medical research increasingly relied on bodies from recent executions. Visual images of anatomical dissection evoke this history and through it seek to alter concepts of life, death and creation. Drawing on the archive of the confraternity of San Giovanni Decollato in Rome - which accompanied the condemned to the gallows and negotiated with the university for the use of bodies - and on a remarkable 1590 drawing of a hanging by Annibale Carracci, the lecture reconsiders this connection and proposes how urban memory opened up new potential for the study of the human body.