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Anatomical drawing of a human skeleton, England, 1840

Attributed to John Linnell (1792-1882), a British portrait and landscape artist, this ink and pencil drawing shows the human skeleton. It is unclear whether the sketch is by Linnell or a student composition submitted as part of an examination. A pencil note at the bottom of the 700 mm-tall drawing comments that the names of the bones in the sketch are “few and bad”. The close relationship between art and anatomy began in the Renaissance, when artists and anatomists worked closely together to produce detailed anatomical drawings for medical textbooks, and established artistic and aesthetic conventions.

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Glossary: skeleton

The bones or bony framework of an animal body considered as a whole; also, more generally, the harder (supporting or covering) constituent part of an animal organism.

Glossary: drawing - visual work

Drawing is a visual art that makes use of any number of drawing instruments to mark a two-dimensional medium. An artist who practices or works in drawing may be referred to as a draftsman or draughtsman. Drawing is the application of lines to a surface, often paper, by using a pencil, pen, chalk, or some other tracing instrument to focus on the delineation of form rather than the application of colour. This term is often defined broadly to refer to computer-generated images as well.

Glossary: anatomy

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