Half-length Anatomical Study of a Man Drawn from a Dissected Corpse
John Gibson (1790-1866)
Pencil on wove paper
Width 34 cm x height 24.5 cm
Museum no. D.1306a- 1898
Gibson began work as a sculptor without any formal training and then was taken up by the banker and connoisseur, William Roscoe, who encouraged him to copy works by Renaissance artists from his collection and as the artist recalled, to study anatomy ‘from the subject itself. Knowing what an anatomist Michel Angelo was, I was most eager to begin. Dr Vose of Liverpool was giving lectures on anatomy to young surgeons at that time, and he generously admitted me into his school gratis. With his instruction, and close devotion to the dissecting room, I became well versed in the construction of the human body, and could detect at a glance any anatomical error in a work of art’. The anatomy of the horse has been second only to that of the human figure in the attention that artists have paid to it.