skip to content

Whipple Library

Department of History and Philosophy of Science


The anatomy and philosophy of expression : as connected with the fine arts, by Sir Charles Bell.
London : George Bell, 1877.
STORE 185:38

Another Scot, Charles Bell (1774–1842) used his own drawings in some, including this one, of his published works. This book looks at the different expressions and describes how the muscles of the face move to allow those expressions to be conveyed. There is a note from the publisher printed in the front stating that art students wanted a “cheap and handy” copy of this book printed as it was much used by them. Charles Bell mentions a meeting with John Flaxman in his introduction where Flaxman wonders what will be thought of his sculptures in two hundred years’ time and Bell continues that printing has “banished sculpture”. Bell believes that all artists should study anatomy so they can create better works of art. 

Both Knox and Bell were in Brussels in 1815 to assist with the wounded after the Battle of Waterloo, could they have met and discussed their enjoyment of art? They also have another possible link, diaries of grave robbers in London show that Bell was a customer.

Like many other books in our anatomy collections, this book was transferred to us from the Anatomy Department.