Wound Man image from Claudius (Pseudo) Galen’s Anathomia – Source: Wellcome Library, London.
This figure, from a 15th century English anatomical manuscript, is an example of a ‘wound man’.
Figures like these can be found in a number of manuscripts and printed books produced in the 15th and 16th centuries.
This particular version is folio 53 verso from Anathomia by Claudius (Pseudo) Galen. It is captioned in Latin and the words do not provide any directions for treatment but merely describe the injury: for example, ‘penetration by a sword’ or ‘an arrow whose point has remained in the thigh’.
The weapons are shown as they pierce the body and here, the positions of the man’s internal organs are indicated.
The exact purpose of the wound man image is not known, but it might have served as a reminder of the injuries to which the human body is prone.
These typically range from blows to the head, to stab wounds and arrow piercings, sometimes even showing dogs or snakes biting the legs.