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Connecting Art and Science: The Historical Influence of Culture on Anatomic Studies

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Presented by Kevin Petti, Ph. D., from the Departments of Science and Health at San Diego Miramar College. Hosted by The Department of Biology and The Center For Excellence in Science Education (CESE), Eberly College of Science

Event Date:

10 February 2014

Where:

112 Chambers

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Italyʼs medieval universities established the study of human anatomy for physicians. To heighten their art, Renaissance masters clandestinely examined anatomy through human dissection. The profound connection between art and science is best demonstrated by the genius of Michelangelo. Indeed, the wooden crucifix he carved in gratitude for secret access to corpses from a convent’s hospital still hangs in the Basilica of Santo Spirito in Florence. His anatomical knowledge explains why many believe human organs are depicted in the Sistine Chapel ceiling. Human structure was also elegantly illustrated by the early physicians of the Near and Far East. This lecture tells a 2500 year-old story of anatomy as an academic discipline, and its connection to art and culture. From ancient India, the Middle East, and Japan, to the rise of the modern universities in medieval Europe, the history of anatomic studies is an interdisciplinary and multicultural saga.

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