Ivory plaque showing a dissection scene in ebony frame, Europe, 1601-1700

1601-1700 in Europe

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Ivory plaque, carved in relief, representing a demonstration of anatomy as a dissecting scene, in ebony frame, possibly 17th century

The plaque depicts an anatomical dissection scene. The scene shows four men in wigs and fine clothes watching another man perform the dissection. Such dissections were often observed by an audience because cadavers were in short supply and not every student could perform their own dissections.

Anatomy was an important part of the medical curriculum of European universities in the 1600s. Public dissections were performed, often in purpose-built theatres such as those at Padua and Bologna in Italy and Montpellier in France. Students and the educated general public were admitted.


Anatomy & Pathology
Object Number:
ebony, glass and ivory

Cite this page


We encourage the use and reuse of our collection data.

Data in the title, made, maker and details fields are released under Creative Commons Zero

Descriptions and all other text content are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence

Using our data


Download catalogue entry as json

View manifest in IIIF viewer

Add to Animal Crossing Art Generator

Download manifest IIIF

Our records are constantly being enhanced and improved, but please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shown on this website.