“Prospetto della sala dell’ Anatomia della Città di Leyden” [view of the anatomical theatre of the city of Leiden]. Copper engraving from “Lo stato presente di tutti I paesi e popoli del mondo naturale, politico e morale, con nuove osservazioni e correzioni degli antichi, e moderni viagiatori” [The present state of all the countries and peoples of the natural, political and moral world, with new observations and corrections by the ancient and modern travelers] made by Thomas Salmón and published by Gianbattista Albrizzi in Venice 1742. Coloured by a later hand. Size: 15 x 20 cm.
The Theatrum Anatomicum or Leiden anatomical theatre was an anatomical theatre and cabinet of curiosities of that opened in Leiden in the Netherlands in 1594. It was one of the first anatomical theatres in Europe.
The theatre was started on the initiative of Pieter Pauw, then professor of anatomy at Leiden University. During winters, professors of anatomy held public dissections of cadavers to a fee paying audience of students and surgeons, but also curious members of the public. As there was no teaching in the summer, the theatre was used to display various curiosities including human and animal skeletons, ancient Egyptian mummies and Roman antiquities, and many other unusual objects from different parts of the world. As a result the theatre, at a time the only in Europe north of the Alps, became a significant tourist attraction. By the 18th century the theatre became less used, and eventually became obsolete. The theatre finally closed in 1821.
A modern full-scale theater in Rijksmuseum Boerhaave has been reconstructed from prints like this one.
Price: Euro 275,-