Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Musee Fragonard, Alfort, Paris

In 2008 I attended the International Conference on Anatomical Models at the Boerhaave Museum in Leiden, The Netherlands and had the pleasure of hearing Dr. Christophe Degueurce speak about the newly renovated Musee Fragonard. As curator of the museum and a veterinary anatomist he walked us through the history of this amazing and unique collection. Since that day I have wanted to visit this  museum. I was especially fascinated by the ecorches prepared by Dr. Honore Fragonard (cousin of the 18th century Rococo painter Jean-Honore Fragonard, both born in 1732) that have lasted over 200 years.

Last week, while visiting Paris, I traveled to Alfort, in the suburbs of Paris, and found the Musee Fragonard on the campus of the National Veterinary School at Alfort, the most renown veterinary school in France. The museum has three sections, one devoted to comparative anatomy, another to skeletons and skeletal pathologies, and the third is the newly renovated room devoted to Fragonard's ecorches. Dr. Degueurce very graciously met my family and I in the museum and toured us through this fascinating collection.

The museum is in many ways a cabinet of curiosities from the Age of Enlightenment. I strongly recommend a visit this to this fascinating collection.


Comparative anatomy room featuring painted plaster model of superficial fascia of the horse. Model by Jacques-Nicolas Brunot, 1830.


Painted plaster models of pig forelimb.


Elephant skeletons.


More painted plaster anatomical models.


"Horseman" prepared by Dr. Honore Fragonard in 1794.


Dr. Degueurce with my daughter Lily and his new book "Fragonard Museum, The Ecorches".

Dr. Degueurce just published a book about the museum called "Fragonard Museum, The Ecorches". The english version was published by Blast Books and it wonderful! There is alot of good infomration in this book about the history of anatomy, veterinary medicine and of course Dr. Fragonard.

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