Septima Musculorum Tabula

Method Copper engraving
Artist Jan Wandelaar after Andreas Vesalius
Published I. Wandelaar fecit. [Leiden, 1725]
Dimensions Image 343 x 208 mm, Plate 357 x 214 mm, Sheet 457 x 266 mm
Notes 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. The figure is supported by a rope, which is strung through the eye sockets. This was a common method of display for Vesalius in his dissection lectures, as it was easier for larger crowds to see the cadaver than if it was lying on a table. The figure is flayed, with areas of skin hanging from the muscles, in order to expose the muscles and the abdominal cavity. Nailed on the wall behind is an excised diaphragm, below which the title is inscribed. 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.
Framing unmounted
Price £250.00
Stock ID 41460

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