Originally mastered by Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo during the growth of arts and sciences in the High Renaissance, anatomical drawings became crucial in creating a more lifelike, sculptural portrayal of the human figure.
This importance resonated in Thomas Eakins. After becoming President of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Eakins did away with plaster cast models and brought in live nudes to study, in addition to anatomical dissections.
<Although initially starting an uproar at the Academy, and the dismissal of Eakins as President in 1886, study of the live nude continued and has found its way in many college level art classes across the United States.>
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Instructor, Louis Sloan (1932-2008), gave Bo this skull to study and paint, knowing he studied anatomy and dissected corpses to better understand the physical human form.
<It was originally given to the academy from the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania for students to draw.>
The artist now uses the skull to teach his students and to instruct during his Master Class.