Morbid Anatomy reader Heather Whiteside has designed (and had permanently applied to her skin!) a tattoo based on the anatomical venus wax sculptural tradition.
To design the tattoo, she consulted a number of historical precedents, such as the famous La Specola Venus, a popular anatomical model from the William Bonardo Collection of Wax Anatomical Models, and a photograph of a wax anatomical model by photographer Herbert List (more on his work in a future post.) Of the tattoo, Heather writes:
This tattoo signifies my decision to register with the University of Alabama-Birmingham's Anatomical Donor Program, i.e. making a bequest of my body to medical research after my death. I had the tattoo artists at the shop, Blue Rose Tattoo in Huntsville, sign as my witnesses on the donor form. :) Greg Ross did the fine tattoo work from my original design. The imagery is a combination of memento mori funeral portraiture and versions of anatomical venus type wax models.
If I were going to add a literary quotation to acccompany the tattoo, it would be the following: "Grave: a place in which the dead are laid to await the coming of the medical student." DEVIL'S DICTIONARY. Ambrose Bierce. 1911. I do wonder what the future medical students might make of this tattooed cadaver?
Nice work, Heather!