02 January 2007

Talk about suffering for your art

'The Royal Academy Art School ... is home to two remarkable anatomical artefacts, which, although not on public display, you might nevertheless be interested to know about. Both are plaster casts of men executed at Tyburn, flayed (skinned) and put into poses while still warm, until rigor mortis set in. One, a smuggler, was set in the pose of a famous classical statue, the Dying Gladiator, and the cast is known as Smugglerius. The other, in order to assist devotional artists, was crucified'

- Dr Ruth Richardson, 'Anatomical London', in 'London Walks vol. 1: 30 Walks by London Writers', 2005

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