Two figures with their thoracic cavity exposed, one dissecting the other (figs I-II), together with illustrations mainly of the heart (figs III-XI) and two of the lungs (figs XII-XIII). Engraving, 1568.
- Becerra, Gaspar, 1520?-1568?
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1 print : engraving ; plate mark 23.5 x 15.4 cm
A. W. Meyer and S. K. Wirt, "The Amuscan illustrations," Bulletin of the History of Medicine, 14, 1943, pp. 677-680; 683, fig 7a-c
H. Cushing, A Bio-bibliography of Andreas Vesalius, 2nd ed., Hamden, Conn. and London 1962, pp. 145-148; 151-152
J. B. de C. M. Saunders and C. D. O'Malley, The illustrations from the works of Andreas Vesalius of Brussels, Cleveland and New York 1950, pp. 178-183, pls 63-65
Max Rooses, Catalogue of the Plantin-Moretus Museum, 4th English ed. completed by M. Sabbe, Antwerp 1924, p. 134, no. 98 and n. 1
L. Voet, The golden compasses, Amsterdam 1969-1972, 2 vols, ii, passim
A. Hahn and P. Dumaitre, Histoire de la m̳edecine et du livre médical, Paris 1962, p. 136, fig. 77
Wellcome Library no. 27185i
This plate is probably a modern strike from the original copper engraved plate used for the 1568 Anatomie, published by the Plantin press in Antwerp, a Dutch translation of the Vivae imagines partium corporis humani published by the same press in 1566. The plates and their explanations for this edition were taken from Juan de Valverde's Anatomia del corpo humano (Rome and Venice 1559) and the text from Vesalius's Epitome (Basel 1543). Valverde's Anatomia, first published in Rome in Spanish in 1556 as Historia de la composicion del cuerpo humano, with plates engraved by Nicolo Beatrizet, was in turn based on the plates illustrating Andreas Vesalius's De humani corporis fabrica, published in Basel in 1543. Several of Valverde's plates, attributed to Gaspar Becerra, a Spanish artist working in Rome, show variations on those of Vesalius's and are not strict copies (see Meyer and Wirt 1945). In this plate, figures seven through ten replace ones published by Vesalius. The explanation offered by Valverde for this substitution is that the Vesalian figures were not good enough illustrations of what they were meant to demonstrate of the heart (Valverde 1560, fol. 107v). The two figures with exposed thoraxes (figs. i and ii) are an example of an adaptation of Vesalian originals. These are found in the De humani corporis fabrica on separate pages (pp. 559-560) but have been united in Valverde. Whereas in the original, the second figure's hands are behind his back, apparently bound, and a rope runs from his neck to loop around and hold back the section of dissected rib and sternum, in Valverde there is no rope and his hands are free to apparently dissect the first figure. The plates of the 1568 Dutch edition of the Plantin Anatomie are distinguished by the appearance of the plate and book number on the plate, boxed off. These were adapted from the 1566 plates, seven of which plus the title page, survive in the collection of the Plantin-Moretus Museum in Antwerp (Rooses 1924, p. 134, no. 98). The plates were engraved by Pieter and Frans Huys