How Art Saved Lives: Wax Anatomical Art in Early Modern Italy – Johnson, Kimberly


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Instructor: Kimberly Johnson
Course Date: October 7, 2021 to November 25, 2021
This course takes place from 2:00 PM to 3:59 PM:

SKU: 21-F1 Category:

Renaissance Italians considered one type of art so magical, so sacred, that it could be dangerous if used improperly: art made of wax. Wax produced the most lifelike figures, best mimicking human flesh and the pulse that beat within it. Wax was so powerful it became particularly crucial in the education of surgeons, who at the time, ended lives more often than they saved them. This course introduces wax sculpture, explores the role it played in shaping generations of surgeons in early modern Italy and illustrates how this breathtaking art saved countless lives from operating tables to dinner tables.


Kimberly Johnson is an American art historian, currently teaching at UofA and NorQuest College. Kimberly regularly travels Europe on research trips, to give invited guest lectures and to present at conferences. She relishes every second she can spend inside a museum, no matter where in the world she is.

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