in The Lady Anatomist

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780226520810
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226520841 | DOI:

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  • Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)


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This chapter discusses the empirical and scholarly anatomical studies that Anna Morandi conducted in partnership with her husband as well as the eyewitness accounts of her anatomy demonstrations as recorded by visitors to their studio, with conventional biographical sketches of her as a “female improviser” in anatomy inspired by wifely duty and innate genius. It is shown that one influential admirer of Morandi's went so far as to predicate her extraordinary knowledge of anatomy on her maternity. Morandi and Giovanni Manzolini unmistakably aimed to associate themselves with, and indeed to surpass, anatomists who had special acclaim in Bologna. Morandi emerged from primary texts and correspondence written during more than a decade before Manzolini's demise as a recognized actor, indeed a novatrice, or innovator, in the field of anatomical science in and beyond Bologna.

Keywords: Anna Morandi; anatomy demonstrations; female improviser; maternity; Giovanni Manzolini; Bologna; anatomical science

Chapter.  10603 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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