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Questions of Authorship and Authority in Some Early Modern Anatomical Images , the Tabulae Anatomicae of Pietro da Cortona (2013-2014)

Field of study: History and Theory of Art

The study is centered around a series of anatomical engravings made in the first half of the seventeenth century in Rome after anatomical drawings by the famous painter Pietro da Cortona, but first published over a century later. This case study allows, through the analysis of its intricate history, the inquiry into numerous issues fundamental for the understanding of the scientific image in the early modern era: issues related to technique (drawing, engraving), the role of reproduction in the history of science, problems of authorship and investment of the image with authority, as well as the destination and audience of the books containing these images.

Keywords: anatomical illustrations, artistic conventions in scientific representations, Pietro da Cortona, authorship, authority of the image.

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