Among jars of embalmed specimens, there were several startling dioramas containing skeletons of infants adorned with delicate and morbid decor. In one of the pieces, depicted below, five skeletons are carefully positioned on a vase foundation made of inflated tissues from human testes. There was a feather headdress, a girdle of sheep intestines, and a spear made of the hardened vas deferens of an adult man.The dioramas were a combination of science display and memento mori. Read more about Ruysch and his dioramas at Atlas Obscura. While the illustrations of his works are drawn instead of photographed, they might still be disturbing to some readers.
The skeleton standing at the top of the pile of preserved human remains holds a piece of bone like a violin and a dried artery for a bow. Its head tilted towards the heavens is coupled with the inscription, “Ah Fate, ah Bitter Fate!”