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Flipping through Anatomical Fugitive Sheets

Bodies move and have layers. Yes, this is hopefully an obvious statement. But imagine you lived in the 16th century and were attempting to demonstrate this point. In print. When illustrations served as a primary means of study for students of anatomy and medicine, could a piece of paper adequately represent the complexity of the human body? How about multiple pieces of paper? Anatomical “fugitive” sheets, so named because of their unfortunate tendency of being torn or misplaced over time, allowed readers to visualize the layers of organs lying beneath an illustrated subject’s flesh . Any observer could see the interior of the...

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