This exhibition is about form and function, and fact and fiction within medical scientific illustration, related to three different medical theories in the 14th, 17th, and 20th centuries. It is about the history of illustration and the development of illustration techniques through three important time periods expressed through three peculiar medical theories. The most important illustration technique started with the invention of printing, which changed the illustration style in its essence. The most important techniques are: watercolour, a technique which was used for decades in scientific illustration, because printing had not yet been invented; etching, which is a print technique used after wood engraving because it was faster and easier to produce; and animation, a very contemporary technique to show sequential information.

Until the end of the 17th century, times were of wonder: the body was a mystery, and dissections were restricted to the Church. Therefore, fact and fiction in illustration, and the early way of showing the functions of the body without having, however, a complete knowledge of those functions, resulted in curious inventions and thrilling theories. These three medical theories all dealt with the fear and fascination over our animal condition, and show how inventive were the minds of both physicians and

//// pictures by Luis Espinheira