Visual Arts: Body language

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Indy Lifestyle Online
Forget `Sensation'. The Royal College of Art has served up a show of anatomical studies that put Damien Hirst and Jake and Dinos Chapman into the shade

"The Quick and the Dead" has just opened at the Royal College of Art, but it could just as well have been at the Royal College of Surgeons.

The exhibition charts several centuries of pilgrimage into the medical world by painters and sculptors in search of the secrets of the human form; sinews and muscles are laid bare, skin is flayed and intestines exposed.

"The Quick and the Dead" is the brainchild of Deanna Petherbridge, Professor of Drawing at the Royal College of Art, whose broadminded, scholarly approach has gathered the likes of Leonardo, Durer, Gericault and Ernst from museums and medical schools around the country.

It's an extraordinary exhibition and a useful antidote to all the overexcitement that has surrounded "Sensation" at the RA. Those that do make the trip to the RCA will find a selection of 18th-century wax cadavers every bit as bizarre as anything served up by Damien Hirst or the Chapman brothers.

`The Quick and the Dead: Artists & Anatomy' Royal College of Art, Kensington Gore, London SW7 (0171-590 4444) to 24 Nov

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