Although replicas of skulls were often kept as reminders of the imminence of death, the obsessive, anatomically correct detailing of this skull-both inside and out-suggests that it was a curiosity intended for cabinet of exotica.
Mrs. Charles Wrightsman , New York (until 1988; to MMA)
Artist: Johann Valentin Gevers (German, ca. 1662–1737)Date: ca. 1710Medium: Oak and pine veneered with tortoiseshell, silver, silver gilt, and green-stained ivory; mirror glassAccession: 1989.20On view in:Gallery 531