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Fragonard Museum: The Ecorches Hardcover


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Fragonard Museum: The Ecorches + The Empire of Death: A Cultural History of Ossuaries and Charnel Houses + Cabinets of Wonder
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Blast Books (April 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 092223339X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0922233397
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 8.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,209,137 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By jessicaelizabeth on March 21, 2012
Format: Hardcover
If the Founding Fathers wanted to visit Body Worlds, they could have. Or pretty darn close: they just needed to visit one of the many European cabinets of anatomical curiosities, to view the work of anatomists like Honore Fragonard.

Fragonard's eighteenth-century "ecorches" were the forerunners to Gunther von Hagens' famous "Body Worlds" exhibits: preserved, injected, partially dissected bodies (both human and animal) in lifelike, dramatic poses. With ragged strips of muscle draped over exposed vessels and nerves, the ecorches are posed in lifelike positions - riding a horse, getting ready to fight, etc. The effect is eerie, like a medical textbook illustration sprung to life. Several of Fragonard's surviving ecorches are pictured and described in this book by Musee Fragonard curator Christophe Degueurce.

That Honore Fragonard is obscure, while his cousin Jean-Honore Fragonard, the famous painter, gets almost all the Google hits (and the tourists, with a few rare exceptions) says something about Western culture. Honore Fragonard and his anatomist peers helped catalyze a monumental shift in how we view our bodies - "man and animal inexorably came closer together" through the comparative anatomists' work. But Fragonard's successors largely forgot him (perhaps partly through the efforts of his jealous ex-boss). Many of Fragonard's lost ecorches, Degueurce suggests, "suffered the common fate of old scientific objects: outdated, lacking relevance to current interests, such things are often disposed of."

In a collaborative concluding essay written with Laure Cadot, Degueurce compares Fragonard's ecorches with von Hagens' plastinates, observing how public displays of anatomy fell out of popularity, only to recently rise again.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By jennifer allcorn on December 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was completely tickled with this extraordinary book. Very detailed with stunningly beautiful photographs. It's amazing that these wonderful pieces have survived for so many years. His cousin was renowned as an artist, but this man was the true artist. This book is simply gorgeous and well worth it's price.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By lena gallagher on April 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Found this book while doing research for a thesis. Amazon price was 20 clams below what it was in the bookstore. Very usful, great condition & a conversation starter when guests see it on my bookshelf.
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By Sheldon Catley on November 21, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very interesting, a lot more information than I was expecting and lots of detailed photos.

Although maybe best not to read while eating.
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