Two dissected women
Oil painting in the style of Jacques-Fabien Gautier, by D'Agoty and Arnauld-Eloi Gautier D'Agoty, 1764-1765
Two paintings in a set of twelve painted by Jacques-Fabien
Gautier d'Agoty (c.1717-c.1785). There was a family of artists
called Gautier d'Agoty, of which Jacques-Fabien was the first.
He became well known for his part in the development of colour
printing: in association with anatomists such as Pierre Tarin and
Joseph-Guichard Duverney, he published some of the first colour
prints of anatomical and natural historical subjects. He also
painted two sets of twelve anatomical figures in 1765 as models for
his lifesize colour prints. One set of the paintings was produced
for the Académie de Dijon and the other he took to Paris to serve
as models in making the prints. The latter set is presumed to be
the set of twelve now in the Wellcome Library: they were bought in
Paris by Henry Wellcome in 1914.
In these two paintings from a set held by the Wellcome Library,
the standing figure is similar to that traditionally given in fine
art to Maenads, the drunken women who dance after the Greek
wine-god, Bacchus and raise their arms to shake musical
instruments. The seated woman's pose is similar to that of the
Virgin in paintings of the Virgin and Child.