In 1821 Augustus Bozzi Granville FRS unwrapped and dissected an ancient Egyptian mummy, presenting the results of his examination to the Royal Society in 1825. He commissioned artist Henry Perry to draw the process in stages; these drawings were subsequently engraved by James Basire for publication in Philosophical Transactions. This article presents the original drawings for the first time, allowing comparison with their engravings. Taken together with Granville's accounts of the unwrapping of the mummy, the drawings demonstrate the significant role of illustration and other visual practices in anatomical argumentation in the early nineteenth century, as well as the prestige that commissioned illustrations lent to the performance and dissemination of scientific expertise. Moreover, the drawings include one of the key visual tropes of race science—a skull in left-facing profile, mapped with a facial angle—and thus indicate the early incorporation of Egyptian mummies into typologies of race.
- © 2016 The Author(s)
Published by the Royal Society.