Artists under the skin
Royal College of Physicians, 11 St Andrews Place, NW1 4LE

Launching the new exhibition ‘Under the skin: Illustrating the human body’, Annette Wickham, curator of works on paper at the Royal Academy of Arts will talk about artists’ engagement with anatomy, and the ways they have devised for representing the three dimensionality of the body.

Physicians, surgeons, artists and printers throughout history have developed tools and techniques to illustrate human anatomy, and to communicate what is hidden inside the human form. Their efforts to represent the layers of the three-dimensional body on a two-dimensional page are masterpieces of art and science.

Through 2D drawings, prints and illustrations and 3D écorché figures, many of which drawn from the RA’s collections, this lecture will explore artists’ exploration of anatomy in predominantly the 18th and 19th centuries, whilst addressing the controversial question of how much anatomical knowledge artists really needed.

Live subtitling provided by Stagetext. The lecture will also be filmed.


6-7pm: Reception and exhibition viewing

7-8pm: Speeches and lecture, Dorchester Library

8-8.30pm: Exhibition viewing and cash bar


Annette Wickham

Annette Wickham is Curator of Works on Paper for the Royal Academy Collections. She has curated numerous exhibitions and displays including The Anatomy Professor: Doctors, death and dining at the Royal Academy which is in the Tennant Gallery at the RA until 17th March.

She regularly publishes and gives talks on the Royal Academy, its Collections and Schools. Most recently, she has written an A-Z of the RA (with Maurice Davies), an essay on the history of life drawing for Artists Working From Life and chapters on the RA’s Schools and its anatomy collections for The Royal Academy: History and Collections (2018).

Annette studied History of Art at Manchester University and the Courtauld Institute and was previously an Assistant Curator at the V&A.



£5 Standard

£4 Concessions (full time students and job seekers)

Ticket price includes a drink. An additional Eventbrite booking fee will apply.


Under the skin: illustrating the human body

Exhibition open: 6 February – 15 March 2019

Visit the exhibition to explore the artistry and innovation of anatomical illustration from the medieval world to the present day.

The drawings, books and objects from the RCP library, archive and museum collections displayed  in this exhibition capture beautiful and unsettling interpretations of the shapes, structures and textures of organs and tissues.

Find out more

Thinking 3D

Thinking 3D is an interdisciplinary exploration of the concept and communication of three-dimensionality and its impact on the arts and sciences. The year-long series of exhibitions, events, public talks, gallery shows, and academic symposia intended to incite dialogue between artists, art and book historians, mathematicians, astronomers, geometers, earth scientists, botanists and chemists.


Live subtitling provided by Stagetext for this event.

The RCP is fully wheelchair accessible. Lifts and ramps are available in the building and medicinal garden. There is a glass lift in the main foyer, please ask reception staff for assistance. There is seating available on all floors of the building and in the garden.



Accessible toilets

Baby changing facilities


Assistance dogs are welcome

Full accessibility information can be found on the RCP main website.