Animated Victorians: Anatomy from 111 Years Ago

It’s now time to take an animated look inside the human body – as seen in 1901. These fantastic anatomical animations were recently created by Maria Popova at one of our favorite sites, the very smart Brain Pickings. The images, illustrated by E. J. Stanley, are unique in that they are made up of three pages which flap-up; each turn revealing another layer of the human body, from bones and muscles, to brains and organs.


These works from 111 years ago, while highly beautiful, also leave a lot of details to the imagination. It makes sense that this would be from a book intended only for entertainment – especially with fun labels like “section of the arm” (hm… I was confused what part of the body that was) and “A Picture of Good Health” (maybe because he has all his parts?). Regardless, the anatomical artists of today could certainly draw a lot of inspiration from these gorgeously rendered works. Want to see more animations from Brain Pickings? Definitely see Popova’s article about her naughty victorian pop-up book.

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