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The human venous and arterial systems. Engraving, after engravings by M. Vandergucht after W. Cowper of 1702 and 1707.

  • Cowper, William, 1666-1709.
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37385i
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Credit: The human venous and arterial systems. Engraving, after engravings by M. Vandergucht after W. Cowper of 1702 and 1707. Wellcome Collection. Public Domain Mark

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About this work

Description

The figure on the left, labelled "Venous system", is after a print depicting the venous system, extracted from the human body and dried and laid out on a table by the surgeon Giovanni Leoni, Johannes Vesling's assistant in Padua (see Aspin 1995, pl. 1a). This table, along with three others of the arteries and the nerves, were purchased by John Evelyn during his stay in Padua, 1645-1646, where he attended Vesling's lectures on anatomy. The four tables were sent to England and presented to the Royal Society by Evelyn in 1667. They are now in the collection of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, London

Physical description

1 print : engraving ; image 11.5 x 18.2 cm

Lettering

Venous system, arterial system.

References note

Richard K. Aspin, "John Evelyn's tables of veins and arteries: a rediscovered letter," Medical History, 39, no. 4, October 1995, pp. 493-499

Reference

Wellcome Library no. 37385i

Reproduction note

The Evelyn venous and arterial tables were engraved by Michael Vandergucht after drawings by the anatomist William Cowper and used to illustrate Cowper's article in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, no. 280, July and August 1702, pp. 1177-1201, entitled: "An account of divers schemes of arteries and veins, dissected from adult human bodies, and given to the repository of the Royal Society by John Evelyn, Esq; F.R.S. To which are subjoyn'd a description of the extremities of those vessels, and the manner the blood is seen, by the microscope, to pass from the arteries to the veins in quadrupeds when living: with some chyryrgical observations and figures after the life, by William Cowper, F.R.S." On p. 1179 Cowper comments that, "These figures are closely drawn after the original schemes, and I am apt to flatter my self they will be acceptable to the inquisitive."
The figure on the right, labelled "Arterial system", is after a plate designed by William Cowper and engraved by Michael Vandergucht and published in James Drake's Anthropologia nova, London 1707, ii, fig. 20. Cowper's illustrations of the venous and arterial systems both appeared as illustrations to Diderot and d'Alembert's Encyclopédie (plate volume 18, Paris 1762, nos 8-9) and were subsequently frequently illustrated in English encyclopedias

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  • English


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