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Anatomy: Art & Science

In the mid-1500s, sumptuous anatomical studies of human anatomy began appearing as an explosion of human dissection yielded a new perspective on the human form. Prompted by this, veterinarians published similar studies of the anatomy of the horse which focused not only on the science of the body, but used a great deal of art and aesthetics to convey its subject matter.



Woodcut muscle figure illustration showing a flayed man standing and facing left with right arm uplifted, showing detailed musculature, with dilapidated ancient ruins in the background, from Andreas Vesalius’ De humani corporis fabrica libri septem. (Basileae: Joannis Oporini, 1543). NLM Call number: WZ 240 V575dh 1543. Woodcut illustration of a flayed horse standing looking to the left showing detailed musculature, from Carlo Ruini’s Anatomia del cauallo, infermità, et suoi rimedii (Venice: F. Prati, 1618).  NLM Call number: WZ 250 R934d 1618. Woodcut human venous figure showing a flayed man standing with arms outstretched at his sides, from Andreas Vesalius’ De humani corporis fabrica libri septem. (Basileae: Joannis Oporini, 1543). NLM Call number: WZ 240 V575dh 1543. Copperplate engraved illustration of the nervous system of a flayed horse, from Andrew Snape’s The anatomy of an horse. (London: M. Flesher, 1683).  NLM Call number: WZ 250 S669a 1683.


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