A lot of old masters – Leonardo comes to mind – had to be anatomists. To learn figure they had to cut up bodies and study them. No one had done this before – or well – probably people did somewhere – but the Dark Ages destroyed such knowledge in Europe. So artists as well as doctors had at times to cut open cadavers to figure out how we all are put together. Soooo glad we artists don’t have to do that sort of thing today.
“No Cadavers Please #1: Creating The Big Belch graphic novel 21″