The teaching of anatomy at European medical schools had become standard practice by the middle of the sixteenth century. Instruction included the dissection of a human corpse. Initially, bodies at hand were those of (male) criminals or heretics.
The occasional dissection of a woman, it being a public event, attracted large numbers of spectators by the prospect of the exposure of female organs. A dissection at the time was both education and spectacle. It was attended by professionals, painters, and the curious alike. The cutting up of a body was a celebration of scientific progress. [Read more…] about Body Snatching at New Rochelle: Cobbett & Paine