Two ivory anatomical figures, female and male, France, 1701-1800
Both these female and male figures have removable torsos to show the internal organs, including the heart, liver, stomach and intestines. The intestines are also removable. The female figure is pregnant and a foetus is shown. This is typical of female anatomical models of this type. Such figures are usually displayed in boxes or on stands that are modelled to look like beds. The level of anatomical detail is limited but gives a basic layout of the main organs. As such it is likely that the model was used to teach lay people about basic human anatomy. They may possibly have been used by midwives to provide reassurance for pregnant women and to teach young married couples about anatomy and pregnancy.
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Glossary: anatomical figure
Highly detailed models of the full human figure for artists, teachers and medical practitioners.
A branch of medical science concerned with the structure of living organisms.
A branch of medicine dealing with the care of women. This care occurs during pregnancy, childbirth, and the period of recovery from childbirth.
The name given to the embryo during the later stages of development. In human reproduction it refers to an unborn child from its eighth week of development.