Guangzhou, then called Canton by Westerners, was the only Chinese port open to foreign trading until the Opium Wars of the 19th century, and it became a rare hub of direct interactions between the two cultures. One of these resulted in a surprisingly moving series of paintings portraying bodies disfigured by tumors.
Like his anatomist peers, 18th-century Dutch scientist Frederik Ruysch preserved human and animal specimens for study, either dried or in jars.
Skin from the thigh of an unfortunate Philadelphia woman felled by a parasitic infection delicately lines the spines of three books in the Historical Medical Library of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia.
In the 18th-century, French artist Jacques Gautier-D’Agoty painted numerous dissected corpses with muted colors and quiet dignity that made them appear alive, despite the flayed skin and exposed muscles.
A work of literature or art can be effective in different ways — most of which are by nature invisible.