Seeing Anatomy between Literature and the Arts. International Conference


Institute for the History and Theory of Art and Architecture

Start date: 15 May 2023

End date: 16 May 2023

International Conference

Seeing Anatomy between Literature and the Arts: Words, Images and Spaces since the Early Modern Age

15-16 May 2023
Mendrisio, Accademia di architettura, Auditorium Teatro dell'Architettura
Lugano, Università della Svizzera italiana, Campus Ovest, Palazzo Principale, Aula 354

Curated by:
Linda Bisello (Università della Svizzera italiana, Istituto di studi italiani)
Carla Mazzarelli (Università della Svizzera italiana, Istituto di storia e teoria dell’arte e dell’architettura)

The international Conference Seeing Anatomy in Literature and the Arts: Words, Images and Spaces since the Early Modern Age intends to put into practice the interdisciplinary dialogue at the basis of the project The «Civilisation of Anatomy»: the genre of Literary Anatomies in seventeenth-century Italy (FNS 100012_204399), directed by Linda Bisello, in partnership with Carla Mazzarelli with regard to the visual arts and architecture ( The research focuses on the epistemological effects of Andrea Vesalius’ De humani corporis fabrica (1543) on the early modern culture, from the literary imagination to other forms of knowledge (art and architecture, but also philosophy, grammar, rhetoric, geography, astronomy, etc.). Anatomy in fact «revolutionizes the way of feeling forms», «by making scientific truth a means of enhancing visual reality» (Parronchi 1975). While the core of the reflection lies in the early modern age (15th-17th centuries), a space for interventions with a broader chronology is nevertheless envisaged, starting from the early modern age to the contemporary age. Within the framework of the methodological reflections and the interdisciplinary perspective, the conference aims in particular to discuss topics such as the persistence of the anatomical paradigm in architectural theory or, in other respects, whether even today anatomy can still define a particular critical approach to literary criticism, images and projects.

The programme can be found in the attached flyer (English and Italian versions).