Anatomieatlas - Provinzialbibliothek Amberg Med. 55

Provinzialbibliothek Amberg


The French anatomist Charles Estienne (1505-1564/65) belonged to a family of printers and publishers. While still studying medicine, he began work on one of the first illustrated anatomy books ever, which he almost completed in 1539. However, publication was delayed because of a dispute with the surgeon and contender Estienne de la Rivière, who did not see his achievements appreciated in the book. It was not printed until 1545 at his father-in-law Simon de Colines' office. So it was that Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564) preceded him with his groundbreaking anatomy atlas 'De humani corporis fabrica'. 'De dissectione' with 64 full-page woodcuts was nevertheless so successful that a French version was published a year later. The illustrations are very different in the three parts. In the first book mainly skeletons appear with landscapes as the background. In the second part, most of the illustrations show naked figures in unusual postures with specifically exposed body parts. These sections were often inserted later in a conspicuous way. The third book is influenced by prints of erotic female nudes, whereby the dissected body parts were in turn only inserted into the figures later. This combination of eroticism and the results of anatomical studies is disturbingly irritating, not just for today's viewers. // Author: Siglinde Kurz // Date: 2018

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