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Annibal Caro's After-Dinner Speech (1536) and the Question of Titian as Vesalius's Illustrator
Abstract

Abstract:

Putative textual proof for Titian's central involvement in producing illustrations for Vesalius's anatomy book De fabrica (1543) requires reexamination. On the basis of orthographic, literary, and historical evidence, a phrase in Annibal Caro's after-dinner speech, here dated to 1536, is shown instead to refer ironically to a surgeon's notorious execution in 1517. Anatomia was a word in the satirical as well as the medical lexicon. It is important to understand the satirical tone of Caro's speech about a priapic statuette. Delivered during Carnival to the Roman Academy of Virtue, the speech respects neither antiquities nor artists like Michelangelo in its obscene humor.



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