Genga’s Anatomia

Today we will look at Anatomia per Uso et Intelligenza del Disegno by Genga Bernardino (1620-1690), published in Rome in 1691.
This book comprises a series of copperplate engravings of the anatomical studies of Bernardino Genga by the artist Charles Errard (1606-1689). Giovanni Maria Lancisi (1654-1720), the Papal physician, edited the work and provided much of the commentary. The first 23 engravings deal with osteology and myology, with the remainder consisting of representations of antique statues viewed from different angles, including the Farnese Hercules, the Laocoön, the Gladiator, the Borghese Faun, the Venus de Medici, the Youth Pulling a Thorn from his Foot, and the Amazon of the House of Cesi. The frontispiece engraving features a memento mori of emblems of death.
Genga died in 1690 in Rome, where he practiced surgery in the Hospital of Santo Spirito in Sassia. He was a scholar of Classical medical texts, editing several works of Hippocrates. He also had a great interest in the preparation of anatomical specimens as well as the anatomy of ancient Greek and Roman sculpture. These interests led to his work at the Accademia di Francia delle Belle Arti in Rome, where he taught anatomy to artists.


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