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Wax was injected into the arteries, veins and muscles of this human left arm to preserve its structure. Anatomical preparations such as this were useful in an age when there was a lack of bodies available for dissection. They also allow for specific features such as the network of blood vessels to be highlighted. This technique was perfected by, among others, Frederik Ruysch (1638-1731), a Dutch anatomist who was also known for his fantastical and often grotesque arrangements of anatomical specimens.

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Related Themes and Topics



Glossary: human remains

term created as part of the NMSI human remains policy (from April 2007); Other terms used are 'blood' and 'human hair'

Glossary: arm

The limb of the human body which extends from the shoulder to the hand

Glossary: anatomy

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