Under the skin: illustrating the human body
Royal College of Physicians, 11 St Andrews Place, Regents Park, London, NW1 4LE

Under the skin: illustrating the human body

1 February – 15 March 2019

Physicians, surgeons, artists and printers have developed tools and techniques to illustrate human anatomy, and to communicate what is hidden inside the human form. From simple woodcuts to high-tech MRI scans, their greatest challenge has been to represent the layers of the three-dimensional body on the two-dimensional screen or page.

Their efforts are masterpieces of art and science. 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.

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

Part of Thinking 3D, an interdisciplinary exploration of the concept and communication of three-dimensionality and its impact on the arts and sciences.

Free entry


Thinking 3D




Drawing of a male torso. Francis Sibson, c.1840–1860. © Royal College of Physicians














Visiting information

The exhibition will be open from 1 February - 15 March 2019, Monday–Friday, 9am–5pm and is free to visit. Pre-booking is not required, however groups larger than 6 people are required to pre-book a guided tour with museum staff. Please check the website for 2019 closure days before you visit.

Tabulae neurologicae. Antonio Scarpa, published Pavia, 1794. © Royal College of Physicians














Forthcoming exhibition events

Museum Late with exhibition tour Thursday 7 March 2019, 5-8pm

Join a curator tour of the exhibition 'Under the skin: Illustrating the human body' at 6pm. 

Book free tickets 


Life drawing











Under the skin: life drawing

Wednesday 13 March, 6-9pm. Tickets £25 

More information and book tickets


Exhibition tours

Guided tours of the exhibition are available to book for groups between 6-25 people, Monday to Friday 10am - 5pm subject to staff availability. Tour charges can vary depending on the content and duration which can be tailored to your group's interest. Student groups are usually free. We are now booking tours until April 2019. For tours enquiries, email history@rcplondon.ac.uk