Click main image below to view enlargements and captions.

Science, Medical, Anatomy, Diagram, Capitoline Faun, France, Original Drawing,1851


Faune du Capitole [Capitoline Faun]
[Ecorché Anatomy Study]

France: January 21, 1851
Brown and red ink with pencil on paper
18.5 x 14.5 inches, sheet overall
31.5 x 26.5 inches in burl wood frame, with French mat
Provenance: The Dean Edell Collection

Artistic anatomy study (an ecorché), based on an ancient Greek sculpture of a resting satyr. The sculpture is popularly known as Capitoline Faun (c. 130 AD) because it is in the collection of the Capitoline Museums in Rome, Italy. The contours of the statue have been carefully drawn to scale, and the interior has been rendered as an ecorché — muscles and bones without layers of skin. The muscles are highlighted in red and the work is titled and inscribed in French. The precision and intricacy of detail in the anatomical rendering, and the presence of 72 identifications of body parts in a key in the left side of the drawing, suggest this might have been the work of an advanced medical student with artistic training, or of an artist specializing in medical instruction illustration. The drawing is mounted in a custom burl wood frame with gold rosettes in the square corners, and French mat.

Product description continues below.


During the 19th century and into the first two decades of the 20th century, the French École des Beaux-Arts curriculum was influential throughout Europe and North America. A “Beaux-Arts” education emphasized the study of art from Greek and Roman antiquity and students typically drew careful copies of plaster casts of statues as part of their training. Another type of work, ecorché drawings, were done by artists to learn underlying human muscle anatomy in order to better interpret and render the surfaces of the human form and create more realistic figures. Ecorché drawings were also done as exercises by medical students in studying anatomy. In addition some were professionally rendered for use by medical students in the instruction of anatomy as illustrations in books or separately issued as classroom charts.

Titled and dated “Faune du Capitole 21/1=51” lower right, and numbered 32, upper left.

Provenance: Formerly in the renowned collection of antiquarian anatomy books and art of Dr. Dean Edell, a physician who hosted a highly successful nationally syndicated talk show on health and medicine for 30 years before retiring in 2010.

Condition: Generally very good with the usual overall light toning and wear. Light scattered pale foxing, unobtrusive. A few soft creases, unobtrusive. Remnants of old hinging or adhesive verso near outer margins, not affecting the front. Frame generally very good with the usual overall wear and shrinkage.

Additional information


19th Century