|Jan Wandelaar after Andreas Vesalius
|I. Wandelaar fecit. [Leiden, 1725]
|Image 338 x 210 mm, Plate 356 x 216 mm, Sheet 457 x 266 mm
An anatomical diagram of the human muscular system engraved by Jan Wandelaar after the famous series of 16th century woodcuts by Vesalius for a 1725 edition of Vesalius' De Humani Corporis Fabrica. Depicted from the front, the figure extends the arms to the side, with their left arm partially raised, and the head tilted backwards. Areas of skin hang from the partially flayed figure. The figure is set within a landscape, with a distant city view, and the title inscribed on a tablet in the lower right corner. The various muscles are marked in Latin and Greek characters.
Andreas Vesalius (31st December 1514 - 15th October 1564) was a Dutch surgeon, and medical author, often hailed as the father of modern anatomical study. His most influential work was the De Humani Corporis Fabrica, published in Basel in 1543. The most important and influential part of this text were the many anatomical plates, included to illustrate the authors focus on the primacy and importance of dissection in understanding the workings of the human body. These plates, engraved by Pietro da Cortona and Titian's protégé van Calcar, found immediate currency in medical circles across Europe, quickly inspiring various forgeries, piracies, and reprintings, but also establishing a precedent for anatomical drawing that continued long into the eighteenth century, when the elaborate poses and landscaped backgrounds of Vesalius' subjects gradually fell out of fashion.
Jan Wandelaar (1690 - 1759) was a Dutch draughtsman and etcher who was mainly active in Amsterdam. He was believed to have been a pupil of Johannes Jacobsz Folkema, Gilliam van der Gouwen, and Gerard de Lairesse. Wandelaar produced engravings after Jacob Houbraken, as well for Carl Linnaeus' Hortus Cliffortianus. Following his work engraving anatomical plates for a number of early eighteenth century editions of Vesalius' De Humani Corporis Fabrica, he assisted the German anatomist Bernhard Siegfried Albinus with the illustrations for his Tabulae sceleti et musculorum corporis humani.
Condition: Minor time toning and foxing to sheet.