“The Anatomical Venus was just one of the many representations that played on this familiarity with
death, with an added undercurrent of passive eroticism in the inert female body. As such, she
expressed a fascination with the relationship between life and death, playing on voyeurism, desire
and possession. The scientific study of anatomy provided a safe, legitimizing frame through which the
naked female body could be viewed, at a time when most displays of nudity were highly regulated”
(Ebenstein, Joanna. The Anatomical Venus: Wax, God, Death & the Ecstatic. 2016. London: Thames &
Image: Clemente Susini: The Anatomical Venus, 1780 – 82, La Specola, Florence.