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Robert Knox and the anatomy of beauty.
Med Humanit. 2011 Jun; 37(1):46-50.MH

Abstract

Robert Knox (1791-1862) is typically remembered as the Edinburgh anatomist to whom the murderers Burke and Hare sold the bodies of their victims. This association brought Knox infamy and damaged his life and career. Before the Burke and Hare scandal, Knox was one of the most famous, original and influential anatomists in Britain. He was also something of a dandy with a sophisticated appreciation of the visual arts. His most significant writings on artistic subjects were his books A Manual of Artistic Anatomy and Great Artists and Great Anatomists: A Biographical and Philosophical Study. Knox's interesting and independently minded opinions on the central artistic questions of his day were taken seriously by his contemporaries. His demotion in the official history of anatomy following his involvement with Burke and Hare, however, also removed him from the history of art theory in 19th century Britain. Knox was such a magnetic and impressive figure, though, that he has to be brought back to his era and his era is not complete without him. This paper discusses how Knox's writings on anatomy and biology shaped his contributions to art theory. It is a first step towards returning Knox, the art theorist, to the cultural life of 19th century Britain.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Humanities Department, Dawson College, 3040 Sherbrooke Street West, Montreal, Quebec H3Z 1A4, Canada. aneher@dawsoncollege.qc.ca

Pub Type(s)

Biography
Historical Article
Journal Article
Portrait

Language

eng

PubMed ID

21593248

Citation

Neher, Allister. "Robert Knox and the Anatomy of Beauty." Medical Humanities, vol. 37, no. 1, 2011, pp. 46-50.
Neher A. Robert Knox and the anatomy of beauty. Med Humanit. 2011;37(1):46-50.
Neher, A. (2011). Robert Knox and the anatomy of beauty. Medical Humanities, 37(1), 46-50. https://doi.org/10.1136/jmh.2011.007211
Neher A. Robert Knox and the Anatomy of Beauty. Med Humanit. 2011;37(1):46-50. PubMed PMID: 21593248.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Robert Knox and the anatomy of beauty. A1 - Neher,Allister, PY - 2011/5/20/entrez PY - 2011/5/20/pubmed PY - 2011/12/14/medline SP - 46 EP - 50 JF - Medical humanities JO - Med Humanit VL - 37 IS - 1 N2 - Robert Knox (1791-1862) is typically remembered as the Edinburgh anatomist to whom the murderers Burke and Hare sold the bodies of their victims. This association brought Knox infamy and damaged his life and career. Before the Burke and Hare scandal, Knox was one of the most famous, original and influential anatomists in Britain. He was also something of a dandy with a sophisticated appreciation of the visual arts. His most significant writings on artistic subjects were his books A Manual of Artistic Anatomy and Great Artists and Great Anatomists: A Biographical and Philosophical Study. Knox's interesting and independently minded opinions on the central artistic questions of his day were taken seriously by his contemporaries. His demotion in the official history of anatomy following his involvement with Burke and Hare, however, also removed him from the history of art theory in 19th century Britain. Knox was such a magnetic and impressive figure, though, that he has to be brought back to his era and his era is not complete without him. This paper discusses how Knox's writings on anatomy and biology shaped his contributions to art theory. It is a first step towards returning Knox, the art theorist, to the cultural life of 19th century Britain. SN - 1473-4265 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/21593248/Robert_Knox_and_the_anatomy_of_beauty_ L2 - http://mh.bmj.com/cgi/pmidlookup?view=long&pmid=21593248 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -