Four anatomical scrolls, or ecorche.
ca. 1700. 1. Frontal skeleton, signed, 71 x 26 inches
2. Frontal skeleton, unsigned, 73 x 28 inches
3. Rear view skeleton, signed, 69 x 26 inches
4. Rear view skeleton, unsigned, 71 x 28 inches. Item #3420
It is assumed that these scrolls were used to teach anatomy. It was not uncommon to use ecorche (from the Italian meaning "flayed") in the form of drawings or three-dimensional sculptures as teaching tools; they had been created by Leonardo and earlier artists. We have been unable to locate any other copper-engraved scrolls similar to these from this early date. The Countway Library of the History of Medicine at Harvard has two life-sized copper engravings made by Antonius Cattani, circa 1780, after sculptures by Ercole Lelli. These four scrolls are dated from the late seventeenth to early eighteenth century.
Beckers (or Becker) was a little known copper plate engraver that flourished during the first decade of the eighteenth century.