Exencephaly, Pseudocephaly, and Anencephaly

In exencephaly, the brain is formed without the brain casing - the cranium. It is generally missing the forebrain (the prefrontal lobe), but is otherwise mostly formed. Despite this, the spinal cord is rarely formed with the brain, as there is a disconnect between the telencephalon and the hindbrain during very early development, and only the midbrain is formed.

In pseudoencephaly (a term rarely used in medicine nowadays), the midbrain and spinal cord are formed, but the forebrain is not.

In anencephaly, the most common of the three conditions, the brain and spinal cord are only tiny specs of what they should be. Curiously, despite them being a literal extension of the brain, the eyeballs sometimes fully form, though with no receptors to process the information they receive, even if the fetus were to survive, they would not see anything.

Human Monstrosities, Part IV. Barton Cooke Hirst and George A. Piersol, 1893.


Damien Hirst

1.2..Resurrection, 1998-2003.
glass, paint and human skeleton

3…8.The Virgin Mother is 35ft tall, took a year and a half to build, and is one of the biggest bronze statues in the world.

9.Hymn is 20ft tall and also made out of bronze. Hirst sold Hymn to the art collector and gallery owner, Charles Saatchi, for £1 million. The toy manufacturer, Humbrol, later sued Hirst because Hymn is an exact replica of their 14″ Young Scientist Anatomy Set designed by Roman Emms.

Damien Hirst first came to public attention in London in 1988 when he conceived and curated “Freeze,” an exhibition in a disused warehouse that showed his work and that of his friends and fellow students at Goldsmiths College. In the nearly quarter of a century since that pivotal show (which would come to define the Young British Artists), Hirst has become one of the most influential artists of his generation. His groundbreaking works include The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living (1991), a shark in formaldehyde; Mother and Child Divided (1993) a four-part sculpture of a bisected cow and calf; and For the Love of God (2007), a human skull studded with 8,601 diamonds. In addition to his installations and sculptures, Hirst’s Spot paintings and Butterfly paintings have become universally recognized.