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Muscles of the thigh, seen from the front. Engraving after G. de Lairesse, 1739.

Lairesse, Gérard de, 1640-1711.

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view Muscles of the thigh, seen from the front. Engraving after G. de Lairesse, 1739.


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Credit: Muscles of the thigh, seen from the front. Engraving after G. de Lairesse, 1739. Credit: Wellcome Collection. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

About this work


The sartorius ("D"), the gracilis ("E"), the vastus medialis ("G"), the rectus ("F"), and the vastus lateralis ("H"), have been dissected away to reveal the muscles of the thigh below them. At letter "N", the blood vessels to the region have been tied


Divers muscles situés a la partie du femur ; A ;Tab. 76


[Lugduni Batavorum [Leiden] : Apud Johannem Arnoldum Langerak, 1739]

Physical description

1 print : engraving ; platemark 48.3 x 31.4 cm

Publications note

L. Choulant, History and bibliography of anatomic illustration, tr. and ed. by M. Frank, Chicago 1920, revd ed. 1945, pp. 250-253

K. B. Roberts and J. D. W. Tomlinson, The fabric of the body. European traditions of anatomical illustration, Oxford 1992, pp. 309-313; 412-415

F. Beekman, "Bidloo and Cowper, anatomists," Annals of Medical History, n.s., 7, 1935, pp. 113-129

P. Dumaître, La curieuse destinée des planches anatomiques de Gérard de Lairesse, Amsterdam 1982


Wellcome Library no. 28066i

Reproduction note

The plate originally appeared in Govard Bidloo's Anatomia humani corporis (Amsterdam 1685), one of one hundred and five plates after drawings by G. de Lairesse which survive in the collection of the Bibliothèque Interuniversitaire de Médecine in Paris. Bidloo's Anatomia appeared in a Dutch translation in 1690 after which Bidloo's publishers sold the remaining pulls of the plates to the Oxford publishers (Smith and Walford) of William Cowper's Anatomy of humane bodies (Oxford 1698), in which Bidloo's plates plus an appendix of nine new plates appear. Cowper added a new text and extra lettering, by his reckoning "above 700 references", to the plates. This new lettering was applied in red ink. Cowper's Anatomy of humane bodies was successful enough to appear in two further editions: one in English (Leiden 1737) and another in Latin (Leiden 1739). In these editions Cowper's added letters are in black ink. The manuscript notation is a French translation of Cowper's description of the seventy-sixth plate in the Leiden 1739 edition: Diversi musculi anticae feminis parti incumbentes



  • French

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