Gravid Uteri

Project Outline

Colour photograph of a red chalk drawing by Jan van Rymsdyk of a gravid uterus, made for William Hunter's work on anatomy

Dr. Mark Richter from the Technical Art History Group is collaborating with Dr Lolla Sanchez-Jauregui of The Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery; which is currently working towards a major Tercentenary Exhibition on William Hunter which will open in Autumn 2018.

The Hunterian Collection possesses 11 life size plaster casts (gestation models) that entered the collection with the gift of William Hunter in 1807. This series of casts of dissections shows the pregnant uterus in different stages of pregnancy, as illustrated in Hunter’s great work, ‘The Anatomy of the Gravid Uterus Exhibited in Figures’, published in 1774, with exquisite plates from drawings by Jan van Rymsdyk. All casts are made of plaster except one composite model, which is made of lead and plaster.

The Hunterian are currently immersed in the process of rethinking and expanding their understanding of Hunter’s collections.

The technical examination and conservation of these casts constitutes one of the key elements in this process which will contribute to a better understanding of their making and meaning.

TAHG Participants

Mark Richter



This project is in collaboration with The Hunterian.