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Plaster statue showing a dissected chest, England, 1970

The skin, muscles and ribcage have been removed from the chest of this plaster bust to show the lungs, heart and liver. The sculptor, Christopher Hobbs (b. 1945), used a German print from the 1400s as the basis for this model. Anatomical drawings and models were important teaching aids as bodies were difficult to preserve and few were available for dissection. Models could also be used to pick out and emphasise certain features, in this case the internal organs. The statue was used in the 1971 Ken Russell film The Devils, which was about the corruption of the church in France during the 1600s. It was donated to the Wellcome Institute by Pinewood Studios.

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Glossary: statue

A sculpture in the round representing human or animal figures or small figure groups; a statuette is a smaller sculpture.

Glossary: anatomy

A branch of medical science concerned with the structure of living organisms.