Body of a Courtesan in Nine Stages: A 19th century study of decomposition

Strange Remains

Painting, handscroll. Body of a courtesan in nine stages of decomposition. Ink and colour on silk. Image credit: The British Museum Painting, handscroll. Body of a courtesan in nine stages of decomposition. Ink and colour on silk. Image credit: The British Museum

“Body of a Courtesan in Nine Stages” was painted on handscroll by Japanese artist Kobayashi Eitaku in the 1870’s. It’s not unusual for artists to study corpses and body parts because of their need to learn about the human form, and because of the historical connection between the science of anatomy and artistic illustration.  What makes this style unique is that it’s part of a Japanese artistic tradition devoted specifically to the study of human postmortem changes that stretches back hundreds of years.

“Body of a Courtesan in Nine Stages” is an example of kusozu, the illustration of a decomposing corpse, that was popular in Japanese art from about the 13th to 19th centuries.  Kusozu was inspired by Buddhist beliefs that urged followers to meditate on the temporary nature of life and the physical…

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Marvel’s New Official Avengers Age Of Ultron Poster

Sci-Fi Jubilee

Check Out Marvel’s New Official Avengers Age of Ultron Poster!

Marvel Studios has unveiled the official poster for Joss Whedon’s ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron.’ It features the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, together with the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, with the Vision obscured by sunlight overhead as Ultron’s lethal robots swarm down from the sky. Eagle eyed fans have noticed that as well as the main cast members, the posters credits also feature the names of other actors: including Anthony Mackie (The Falcon), Hayley Atwell (Peggy Carter), Cobie Smulders (Maria Hill), Idris Elba (Heimdall), and Stellan Skarsgard (Erik Selvig). The credits also reveals that the composer Danny Elfman has contributed “additional music” to Brian Tyler’s score.

Avengers Age of Ultron Offical Poster

 Marvel’s Avengers Age of Ultron is release in the UK April 23rd 2015

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This Buddhist Statue Holds a Macabre Secret

Strange Remains

Photo of the Buddhist statue on the right and the CT scan on the left.  Image Credit M. Elsevier Stokmans via Neatorama Photo of the Buddhist statue on the right and the CT scan on the left. Image Credit M. Elsevier Stokmans via Neatorama

Last year the Drents Museum in the Netherlands displayed a large Buddhist statue as part of their “Mummies: Life Beyond Death” exhibit. This was the first time that this statue had been presented outside of China.

Why was a statue part of a mummies exhibit?

CT scans revealed that the statue contains the body of a Buddhist monk who lived around 1100 AD. According to reports from December, the mummy belongs to a Buddhist master by the name of Liuquan, who was part of the Chinese Meditation School. In addition to tissue and bone, researchers found pieces of paper painted with Chinese characters in the thoracic and abdominal cavities.

Experts took bone and tissue samples for further testing and the research will be published in a detailed…

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