De humani corporis fabrica

It took Andreas Vesalius a little over two years to write and illustrate De humani corporis fabrica, an influential manual of dissection and anatomical atlas. All of the information and illustrations were based on Vesalius’ dissection of human cadavers. Unlike his teachers and fellow physicians, Vesalius believed only human cadavers could be used to study human anatomy and that the anatomist himself, as opposed to surgeons or barbers, should be the one to conduct the dissection. Vesalius benefited from the intellectual climate of Padua and Venice while compiling his work, and he used master Venetian craftsmen to create the illustrated woodcuts. Though there were many excellent Venetian printers, Vesalius had the manual printed in Basel, Switzerland. It is unknown why he did this, but one hypothesis in that Basel’s location on the Rhine facilitated the manual’s distribution into Northern Europe. Source: The image is public domain.         

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