The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Thursday, June 21, 2018

Edinburgh College of Art Reveals Mystery Behind Cast of an Unknown Criminal
"The Cast of Smugglerius". Photo by John McGregor. ©Edinburgh College of Art.

EDINBURGH.- For generations, the cast of an unknown criminal dubbed with the mock Latin title of ‘Smugglerius’, has been used in the teaching of anatomical drawing at Edinburgh College of Art with no real knowledge of its provenance. This exhibition, developed as part of the ongoing restoration of the Edinburgh College of Art Cast Collection, at last reveals the man behind the cast.

In addition to detailed research which examines the history of the cast and the life of the man it was most likely moulded from, the exhibition includes original artworks created in response to Smugglerius and the theme of a past unveiled.

Dating from 1854, the College Smugglerius is a copy of an original écorché – a figure with the skin and fat removed to expose the muscles and tendons - made in 1776 at Royal Academy of Art in London. This earlier cast, now lost, was moulded from the body of a hanged criminal by the sculptor Agostino Carlini, following its dissection by William Hunter, the famous anatomist. The College cast, which retains the stunning detail of the original, was made by a little known ‘moulder and figure maker’ called William Pink, probably at the time of his employment at the British Museum; an inscription on the base of the cast states “Published by W PINK Moulder 1854”.

Since its arrival at the College, the cast has been used in the teaching of anatomy to art students, much as the original cast would have been used by artists at the Royal Academy, among them William Blake . In 2008, The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) awarded a grant of £498,500 for the conservation and restoration of Edinburgh College of Art’s 200-year-old Cast Collection, and as part of this, Smugglerius has been restored to its former glory.

Working alongside the restoration project, artist and lecturer Joan Smith joined forces with anthropologist Dr Jeanne Cannizzo to develop a research project that would explore the provenance of Smugglerius. Working together for two years, the research project now reaches fruition with this exhibition, revealing the history and the identity of the flayed man. Seeking to expose and reverse the process by which a living man with a name became an anonymous specimen and eventually a replica cast, Smugglerius Unveiled explores questions of identity, and immortality in art.

Commenting on the research findings and the artworks they have created using Smugglerius as a starting point, Joan Smith, who herself teaches anatomy drawing, says: ‘We hope that visitors to the exhibition will be able to contemplate the complexities of the relationship between identity and anonymity, the changing nature of criminal punishment and the importance of anatomy in both science and art.’

Smugglerius Unveiled is shown alongside Drawing For Instruction: the art of explanation. The University of Edinburgh’s Talbot Rice Gallery’s opening exhibition for 2010, Drawing For Instruction: the art of explanation is a first for the UK; an exhibition of art – by researchers, teachers and students – executed to instruct. The exhibition includes a significant archive of life drawing from Edinburgh College of Art, the earliest example going back to 1880.

Edinburgh College of Art | Smugglerius | Joan Smith | Dr Jeanne Cannizzo |

Today's News

January 19, 2010

At Age 86, Antoni Tapies Exhibits Seventeen Recent Works at Toni Tapies Gallery

Iran May Cut British Museum Ties in Row Over Ancient Persian Treasure

Portrait Shows Morbid Edgar Allan Poe in More Flattering Terms

Vancouver Art Gallery Takes to the Streets with Three Major Installations

Excellent Visitor Figures, Strong Sales and Positive Feedback at London Art Fair

Ben Talbert's Paintings and Drawings from the 60's at Robert Berman Gallery

Edinburgh College of Art Reveals Mystery Behind Cast of an Unknown Criminal

Somerset House Organizes First Contemporary Graphic Art Fair in the UK

Vietnam Entrepreneurs Aim to Carve World's Biggest Jade Buddha

Taiwanese Man Makes a Sculpture Smaller than a Grain of Rice

Portraits of Famed Authors Featured in Exhibit at Princeton University's Firestone Library

Exhibition at The Frick Art Museum Showcases Government Art Program

University of Richmond Museums Opens Two New Exhibitions

Camden Arts Centre Commissions Three New Projects for London's King's Cross

Twelve International Artists Explore Conflict at Foundation for Art and Creative Technology

Watercolor Collages by Bryan Collier Tell the Story at the Joslyn Art Museum

Peter Marino's Private Collection of Bronzes to Go on Show at The Wallace Collection

Animism Brings Together Contemporary and Historical Works in Antwerp

First-Ever Retrospective of Charles M. Russell Concludes U.S. Tour in Houston

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Porsche Super Speedster offered for first time in 50 years at RM Sotheby's Porsche 70th Anniversary Auction

2.- Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens opens 'Storytelling: French Art from the Horvitz Collection'

3.- Gauguin: Voyage to Tahiti stars Vincent Cassel as the famed French artist

4.- Stunning colored diamonds expected to dazzle at Heritage Auctions' Summer Fine Jewelry Auction

5.- US designer Kate Spade found dead at 55

6.- Vincent Van Gogh painting sells for over 7 million euros: Artcurial auction house

7.- Sir Stanley Spencer painting discovered hidden under a bed during a drugs raid

8.- Oxford's Bodleian Libraries unveil UK's first major Tolkien exhibition in decades

9.- Major exhibition at the Guggenheim explores decades of work by Alberto Giacometti

10.- World's largest freshwater pearl goes for 320,000 euros

Related Stories

The Sketchbooks of Sir Nicholas Grimshaw on View at Edinburgh College

Edinburgh College of Art to Open its Postgraduate Degree Show 2009

Exhibition of Paintings, Paper Reliefs and Photographs by Janet Boulton to Open at Edinburgh College of Art

Edinburgh College of Art to Host Live Stone Carving throughout the Edinburgh Art Festival

A Bold New Vision of Design to be Unveiled at the Edinburgh College of Art Degree Show

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful