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Persian Anatomical Illustration

Persian Anatomical Illustration

C003/1496

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Credit

U.S. NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY U.S. NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

This anonymous Persian anatomical illustration (Iran or Pakistan, ca. She holds back a flap of abdominal skin to expose the gravid uterus. Surrounding the figure are portrayals of individual organs: at the top, two hearts; lower right, the lungs; something unidentified in lower left (labeled the opening of the vagina). The artistic conventions employed in the production of this illustration indicate Western India as a place of production. The 16th- to 18th-century European convention of picturing partially dissected bodies as if they were alive, often offering up parts of their own body for further inspection, can be seen here transferred to the Indian subcontinent. The anatomy of the exposed organs reflects indigenous Indian concepts as well as some medieval Galenic anatomy. This is one of six anonymous anatomical drawings on folia 554-559 at the end of a volume containing Tibb al-Akbar (Akbar's Medicine) by Muhammad Akbar, known as Muhammad.

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