bande annonce

Fragonard, revolutionary anatomy


2011, France, Belgium
Original language
Running time
history of science, medicine, eminent scientists
Directed by
Jacques Donjean, Olivier Horn
Written by
Jacques Donjean, Philippe Raxhon
Produced by
ARTE France, Tarantula, Point du Jour, RTBF

Surgical genius, Honoré Fragonard invented a strange technique to preserve corpses. He made anatomical preparations – animal and… human – called écorchés. These were then staged with a genuine artistic will. To this day, a real "Fragonard mystery" remains: by what means and methods did this unusual scholar, manage to give a second life to these creatures, in a day and age where anatomical science was still in his infancy?

In a time where popular wisdom, in the face of death, was striving to see the soul free of the body, Fragonard, through his work, was freeing the body of the soul… Fragonard’s work raises very direct questions: where does Art begin? Where does Science end? Does Art nourrish itself off of death? Can Art play aorund the moral and ethical codes? It is striking how contemporary these questions are: the work of german anatomist Gunther von Hagens and the worldwide success of his exposition "Körperwelten" are a clear sign of this. Wether one admires or rejects Von Hagens approach – as well as Fragonard’s, the facination they provoke lives on. Honoré Fragonard is an elusive character, who has been kept under wraps for too long. His legacy however still echoes strongly today.


Selected at Pariscience 2011
See the showing : Thursday 06th October 2011 from 18h30 to 20h15