Johann Remmelin, Catoptrum microcosmicum. Augsburg, 1619. Credit: Wellcome Collection. CC BY. Ed_20

This striking image comes from the physician and anatomist Johann Remmelin’s innovative Catoptrum microcosmicum, one of the first books to use flaps to represent different parts of the human body and the organs within it. In lifting these flaps, readers could get a sense of the body as a layered, three-dimensional entity. Probably intended less for medical students and physicians than for a curious public, the work was an enormous commercial success, reprinted numerous times and translated into French, Dutch and German.

Here, the body represented is that of Eve, indicated by the presence of the serpent in the lower left-hand corner of the engraving. Again, we witness both an overlapping of the anatomical and religious spheres, and the eroticisation of the anatomised female frame: the theme of temptation seems to evoke the possibility of both intellectual and sexual sin.