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Skeleton of a boy sitting on the 'D' of 'Dream', from Francesco Bertinatti, Elementi di anatomia fisiologica applicata alle belle arti figurative (Turin, 1837-39).  Artist: Mecco Leone. Lithograph
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History of Anatomy

275 BCE Herophilus teaches anatomy, Alexandria, Egypt; performs dissections of human bodies.

ca. 150 Galen dissects apes, monkeys, cows, dogs; writes treatises on human anatomy.

ca. 600-1100 Knowledge of Greek anatomical treatises lost to Western Europeans, but retained in Byzantium and the Islamic world. Islamic scholars translate Greek anatomical treatises into Arabic.

1100s-1500s Galen’s anatomical treatises translated from Arabic into Latin, later from the Greek originals.

1235 First European medical school founded at Salerno, Italy; human bodies are publicly dissected.

1316 Mondino de’Liuzzi stages public dissections, Bologna, Italy; writes Anatomia.

1450s Moveable type invented; Gutenberg Bible printed (1455). Copperplate engraving invented.

1490 Anatomical theater opens in Padua, Italy.

1491 First illustrated printed medical book published in Venice, Johannes de Ketham, Fasciculus medicinae.

ca. 1500-1540 Earliest printed illustrated anatomies.

1510 Leonardo da Vinci dissects human beings, makes anatomical drawings.

1543 First profusely illustrated printed anatomy, Vesalius’ De Humani Corporis Fabrica.

1670s-1690s Schwammerdam, Ruysch and others start making anatomical specimens and museums.
Bidloo starts movement toward greater anatomical realism.
First art academies founded; anatomy is a key part of the curriculum.

1600-1900 Anatomy plays an important role in medical education and research.


Technologies of Anatomical Representation

Next Section : Anatomical Dreamtime

Man in profile, with full head of hair, eyes closed. Below the chin, he is dissected to show spine, ribs, heart and other organs.