Three figures of the muscles of the foot, showing the sole of the foot progressively dissected.

  • Lairesse, Gérard de, 1640-1711.
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Three figures of the muscles of the foot, showing the sole of the foot progressively dissected. Wellcome Collection. Public Domain Mark. Source: Wellcome Collection.

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About this work


Various non-surgical props are employed in this plate to display the anatomy of the foot. A dowel inserted between two blocks is used in figure 1 to support muscles, similar in system to the perforated box and dowel used in plate 67 (catalogue no. 27973). In figure two, the toes of the foot rest on the handle of a chisel and in figures three, muscles are supported on the two arms of an open compass


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

Physical description

1 print : engraving ; platemark 47 x 30.2 cm


Fig. 1. Tous les muscles qui l'on voir après avoir ecarté l'expansion du Plantaire. ; Tab. 86 Manuscript notations in brown ink in French on recto and verso Bears plate number: T. 86

References 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 Collection 28297i

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 eighty-sixth plate in the Leiden 1739 edition: Omnes musculos, qui remota plantaris expansione adparent, ostendit



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