The word ‘theatre’ comes from the Greek word ‘teatron’: meaning a space for beholding.

The architecture of the Renaissance anatomy theatre is designed as a circle in which the cadaver on the slab becomes the central point and focus. This is no coincidence. The idea of anatomical science at the time was not to deny God, on the contrary: it was to reveal the Divine maker. Thus, the space in which anatomy was performed in itself reflected a theology in which the (dead) human body being parsed and revealed by the anatomist describes in fact a sacred relationship between flesh, order, knowledge and God.

“The theatre of the world and the theatre of the body are met in the anatomy theatre” (Sawday p.107)