An anatomical dissection taking place in a hall decorated with musclemen and human and animal skeletons in niches. Engraving with etching, 1685.
- Le Clerc, Daniel, 1652-1728.
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About this work
This anatomical dissection takes place in a hall which leads on to a library. The dissector has initiated the anatomy with a cross-section of the abdomen using a double-bladed knife. In the niches that line the hall are life-size musclemen and human and animal skeletons. The muscleman on the right is adapted from Juan de Valverde's Historia de la composicion del cuerpo humano (Rome 1556) and that on the left is the from Andreas Vesalius's De humani corporis fabrica (Basel 1543, bk ii, pl. ii), as are the skeletons in the second niches (bk i, pls i and iii). In the more distant niches there are simian and avian skeletons and suspended from the ceiling are the skeletons of four-legged animals. In the foreground there are bodies of a variety of animals: a snake, a rabbit, a pig, a lion, a dog, a bird, etc. as a further reference to comparative anatomy. The dramatic effect of the diminishing perspective is aided by the two pairs of obelisks, one at the foreground, bearing a quotation from Seneca (Epistulae morales ad Lucilium, 64) and the other pair further down the hall. The Bibliotheca anatomica, first published in 1685 with a second edition in 1699, is a compilation of works by seventeenth-century authors, edited by Daniel Le Clerc (1652-1728) and Jean-Jacques Manget (1652-1742), two Swiss physicians who collaborated on several publications. Le Clerc himself is the author of the Histoire de la medecine (Geneva 1696, and later editions) which is mainly concerned with the history of ancient medicine
Genevæ [Geneva] : Sumptibus Joannis Anthonii Chovet, 1685.
1 print : engraving, with etching ; image 39.9 x 21.1 cm
A. Garosi, Inter artium et medicinae doctores, Florence 1963, tav. ccix
Wellcome Library no. 25120i