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Title: A fore-view of the womb, fully opened, to show the child in its natural situation
Description: An image of the dissection of the womb (uterus) of a pregnant woman at eight months. The front section of the uterus has been removed. This shows the infant, a cross section of the uterus, the placenta (C, at the top right of the image), and the navel-string (umbilical cord, D, on the right of the image). The volume that this image is taken from dealt with the anatomy of pregnancy, and has a number of other images of dissections. Hunter, the author, believed strongly in the importance of first hand experience, and made sure that the images were as realistic as possible. In this way he felt that the images had 'the mark of truth' and could not lie, and that the viewer was as close to the experience of the dissection as possible. When this volume was originally published, the role of traditional midwives and man-midwives was strongly contested, and comparatively little work was being done on understanding pregnancy and childbirth. Anatomy, however, was a highly respected scientific subject, and the publication of a volume on pregnancy based in anatomy helped to raise the profile of both men-midwives and the study of childbirth in medicine. This image is taken from a reprint of the original plates, which were first published in 1774.
Categories: Anatomy, Biological science, Biological science/ Reproduction and childbirth, Anatomy/ Embryonic structures, Human figures and faces, Human figures and faces/ Fetus  
Catalogue record:

"The anatomy of the human gravid uterus exhibited in figures = Anatomia uteri humani gravidi tabulis illustrata", William Hunter (1851)

Date of original image publication: 01/01/1774
Colour: Monochrome
Illustrator: van Rymsdyk, Jan
Subject headings: Anatomy , Biological science , Embryonic structures , Reproduction and childbirth , Urogenital system , Viscera
Rights : Copyright Discovery Library 2008
Publisher: Discovery Library