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Photo credit: Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University

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Title: Anatomical Study of a Leg
Medium: Pen and ink on laid paper
Dimensions: Image: 11 1/2 x 6 1/2 inches (29.2 x 16.5 cm)
Credit Line: Acquired through the Membership Purchase Fund
Object Number: 76.104.005
Label Text: Whether this study records a living model or a cadaver is difficult to tell. However, drawings like this one indicate the prevalence of anatomical study in later sixteenth century Italy. Since 1563 and the foundation of the Florentine Drawing Academy (the first of its kind in Europe), aspiring artists had been required to attend an annual dissection in homage to the great Michelangelo who had famously learned the finer points of drawing from studying cadavers.

Il Cigoli was a prominent artist and architect in Florence, credited with creating the first wax anatomical model of the human body in 1598: a half life-sized figure shown without its skin and based on the dissection of cadavers. Cigoli believed that both students and full-fledged artists should routinely study anatomy and incorporate naturalistic effects into their art. (“Undressed: The Nude in Context, 1500-1750,” text by Andrew C. Weislogel and presented at the Johnson Museum February 9-June 16, 2019)

NOTE: This electronic record is compiled from historic documentation which may not reflect the Johnson Museum's complete or current knowledge of the object. Review and refinement of such records is ongoing.