Basilæ [Basel] : Ex Officina Joannis Oporini, anno salutis reparatæ M D XLIII mense Junio [June 1543].
Book — , 659 [i.e. 663],  pages : illustrations, plates (2 folded), portrait ; 45 cm (folio)
With De humani corporis fabrica, published when he was only twenty-nine years old, Vesalius revolutionized not only the science of anatomy but how it was taught. Throughout this encyclopedic work on the structure and workings of the human body, Vesalius provided a fuller and more detailed description of human anatomy than any of his predecessors, correcting errors in the traditional anatomical teachings of Galen (which had been obtained from primate rather than human dissection), and arguing that knowledge of human anatomy was to be obtained only from human sources. Even more revolutionary than his criticism of Galen and other medieval authorities was Vesalius's assertion that the dissection of cadavers must be performed by the physician himself-- a direct contradiction of the medieval doctrine that dissection was a task to be performed by menials while the physician lectured from the traditional authorities. Only through actual dissection, Vesalius argued, could the physician learn human anatomy in sufficient detail to be able to teach it accurately. This "hands-on" principle remained Vesalius's most lasting contribution to the teaching of anatomy; it is graphically represented in the Fabrica's woodcut title page (the earliest illustration of an anatomical theatre), which shows Vesalius with his right hand plunged into an opened cadaver, conducting an anatomical demonstration. Because it was then legal only to dissect the cadavers of executed criminals, and these cadavers were always in short supply, Vesalius urged physicians to take their own initiative in obtaining material for dissection. The Fabrica contains several amusing and unrepentant anecdotes of how students had robbed graves to obtain cadavers, especially those of women, since female criminals were rarely executed in those days. --
The Fabrica's magnificent title page and the spectacular series of more than two hundred anatomical woodcuts (full-page and smaller) spread throughout the book remain the most famous series of anatomical illustrations ever published. Because Vesalius published no clues as to their authorship, and no manuscripts, archives, or demonstrably authentic original drawings for the work exist, the source of the woodcuts has always excited the curiosity and speculation of art historians, historians of medicine, and bibliographers. A contemporary reference in Vasari's Lives of the Painter's is probably the source of the traditional attribution the woodcuts to a Flemish associate of Titian, Jan Stephen van Calcar (ca. 1499-1546/50) who drew and possibly engraved the three woodcuts of skeletons in Vesalius's first series of anatomical charts, Tabulae anatomicae sex (1538). Calcar is the only named artist definitely known to have worked with Vesalius. Nevertheless there is no reliable basis for attributing the illustration in the Fabrica to him or any other particular artist. Since we lack any evidence about them other than their style and the understanding that they were cut in Venice, the Fabrica woodcuts may be attributed to an unknown artist or artists from the school of Titian. Vesalius commissioned the illustrations and supervised their production. It is also quite possible that he personally drew some of the lesser illustrations for the Fabrica, as we know that he made the drawings for the first three of the Tabulae anatomicae sex. The woodblocks for the Fabrica, preserved in Munich until their destruction in World War II, were most certainly cut in Venice. --
The Fabrica also broke new ground in its unprecendented blending of scientific exposition, art and typography. Although earlier anatomical books, such as those by Berengario da Carpi, had contained some notable anatomical illustrations, anatomical illustrations had never appeared in such number or been executed in such minute precision as in the Fabrica, and they had usually been introduced rather haphazardly with little or no relationship to the text. In contrast, Vesalius sent his woodblocks to the printer with precise instructions as to placement within the text, and with exact marginal references which brought about direct relationship of text to illustrations, or even details within illustrations. The series of historiated initials, in which putti and dwarfed men humorously perform some of the more grisly actions associated with dissection, have been called pictorial footnotes to the text. The book remains the typographic masterpiece of Johannes Oporinus of Basel, one of the most widely learned and iconoclastic of the so-called "scholar-printers, " whose success with this book apparently caused Vesalius to entrust to Oporinus all of his later publications. --
The Lane Library copy of the Fabrica is bound in contemporary blind-stamped pigskin over oak boards. The woodcut title page is a facsimile, signed on the verso by the historian of medicine and bibliographer, Karl Sudhoff. According to a note by Sudhoff on the rear pastedown another leaf may also be missing.--J. Norman, 2006.
Londini [London] : In officina Ioanni Herfordie, anno Domini, 1545, mense Octobri.
Book —  pages,  leaves of plates (some folded) : illustrations (engravings) ; 41 cm (fol.)
A slightly abridged version of Vesalius's Epitome illustrated with figures from both the Fabrica and the Epitome re-engraved in copperplate, Thomas Geminus's Compendiosa introduced Vesalian anatomy to England. The Compendiosa filled an important need by providing a summary view of Vesalius's anatomical discoveries more complete than the Epitome, less bulky and expensive than the Fabrica, and illustrated-- via the new medium of copperplate engraving-- with a clarity of line impossible even for the highly skilled Venetian wood engravers employed by Vesalius. However, Geminus' Compendiosa was not authorized by Vesalius, who complained about it bitterly in his China-root epistle, so that even though Geminus declared Vesalius's authorship in the headline on leaf A1, the Compendiosa has always been considered the first of the many plagiarisms of Vesalius's anatomical works. --
Geminus, whose family name was Lambert or Lambrit, emigrated to England about 1540, where he practiced the arts of engraving, printing and instrument making, and also served (despite his lack of formal training) as royal physician to Henry VIII. He introduced to the English the use of copperplate engraving for book illustration, a technique he probably brought with him from his native Belgium. A few months before the publication of the Compendiosa, Geminus produced the first engraved book illustrations published in England: two small copperplates, also copied from Vesalius, made for Thomas Raynalde's 1545 revision of The Byrth of Mankynde. The Compendiosa, with its forty copperplates, was the second English book illustrated with copperplates, and the first to contain an engraved title-page, which has been called the first engraving of any artistic importance produced in England.--J. Norman, 2006.
Book —  leaves, 375 [i.e. 379] pages : illustrations ; 34 cm (fol.)
Charles Estienne (circa 1505-1564), the younger son of the first Henri Estienne, was a member of the second generation of the Estienne dynasty of scholar-printers. His De dissectione, one of the great woodcut books of the French Renaissance, was printed at the Estienne Press by his stepfather Simon de Colines, who ran the press from Henri I's death until Charles's brother Robert came of age. --
Estienne studied medicine in Paris, completing his training in 1540; in 1535, during his course of anatomical studies under Jacobus Sylvius, he had Andreas Vesalius as a classmate. At the time the only illustrated manuals of dissection available were the writings of Berengario da Carpi, and the need for an improved, well-illustrated manual must have been obvious to all students of anatomy, particularly the medical student son of one of the world's leading publishers. Estienne did not hesitate to fill this need. The manuscript and illustrations for De dissectione were completed by 1539, and the book was set in type halfway through Book 3 and the last section, when publication was stopped by a lawsuit brought by Étienne de la Rivière, an obscure surgeon and anatomist who had attended lectures at the Paris faculty during 1533-1536, overlapping the time of Estienne's medical study in Paris. According to the eighteenth century account of Quesnay, Estienne may have attempted to plagiarize a manuscript of Étienne de la Rivière which the latter had turned over to him for translation from French into Latin. In the eventual settlement of the lawsuit, Estienne was required to credit Rivière for the various anatomical preparations and for the pictures of the dissections. --
Had De dissectione been published in 1539, there is no question that it would have stolen much of the thunder from Vesalius's Fabrica: it would have been the first work to show detailed illustrations of dissection in serial progression, the first to discuss and illustrate the total human body, the first to publish instructions on how to mount a skeleton, and the first to set the anatomical figures in a fully developed panoramic landscape, a tradition begun by Berengario da Carpi in his Commentaria. Nonetheless, Estienne's work still contained numerous original contributions to anatomy, including the first published illustrations of the whole external venous and nervous systems, and descriptions of the morphology and purpose of the "feeding holes" of bones, the tripartate composition of the sternum, the valvulae in the hepatic veins and the scrotal septum. In addition, the work's eight dissections of the brain give more anatomical detail that had previously appeared. --
The anatomical woodcuts in De dissectione have attracted much critical attention due to their wide variation in imagistic quality, the oddly disturbing postures of the figures in Books 2 and 3, the obvious insertion in many blocks (again, in Books 2 and 3) of separately cut pieces for the dissected portions of the anatomy, and the uncertainty surrounding the sources of the images. The presence of inserts in main blocks would suggest that these blocks were originally intended for another purpose, and in fact a link has been established between the gynecological figures in Book 3, with their frankly erotic poses, and the series of prints entitled "The Loves of the Gods, " engraved by Gian Giacomo Caraglio after drawings by Perino del Vaga and Rosso Fiorentino. (It has also been conjectured that the male figures in Book 2 are from blocks cut for an unpublished book of anatomical designs after Rosso Fiorentino's studies of bodies disinterred from the burial grounds at Borgo; however, this speculation remains insufficiently supported by evidence.) --
A possible explanation of this interesting connection between pornography and anatomy is that the engraver of the female nude woodcuts did not have access to a model, and for the sake of expediency copied the general outlines of the female nudes from "The Loves of the Gods, " eliminating the male figures from the erotic illustrations. Another wood engraver, perhaps Rivière, would then have prepared the anatomical insert blocks showing the internal organs. Economic reasons may also have been a factor, as commissioning entirely new woodcuts would certainly have cost more in time and money than adapting existing artwork, and after the enforced delay imposed by Étienne de la Rivière's lawsuit, both time and money may well have been in short supply.--J. Norman, 2006.
Book — , 824 [i.e. 826],  pages,  leaves of plates (2 folded) : illustrations, portrait (woodcuts) ; 44 cm (fol.)
The 1555 edition of Vesalius' Fabrica contains Vesalius's final revisions of the text, along with significant typographical improvements and refinements. The printer, Oporinus, set the second folio edition in larger type (forty-nine instead of fifty-seven lines per page), which required recutting of all the small initial letters so that they could fit seven lines of the new type. Oporinus also used heavier and finer paper for the second edition, and improved the presswork so that the second edition is a superior example of bookmaking. Why Oporinus substituted an obviously inferior recutting of the masterful woodcut frontispiece, originally used in the 1543 edition, remains one of the many unsolved mysteries associated with the publication of this work. --
The Lane Library copy is bound in contemporary quarter blind-stamped pigskin over oak boards, with remains of catches preserved. It is an exceptionally fine, large copy with the inscription at the foot of the title page: Joachimo Joach[imi] Fil[io] Camerario, that is, "[The book of] Joachim Camerarius, son of Joachim [Camerarius]." "Thus it appears that this copy once belonged to Joachim Camerarius, 1534-1598, physician and botanist, who had studied philosophy under Melanchthon, medicine under Crato von Kraftheim, and eventually received his degree of doctor of medicine at Bologna in 1562. After his return to his native Nuremberg and some years of medical practice he persuaded the city fathers to establish a school of medicine in 1592, of which he was the dean until his death six years later. --
'While the chronology of his life and activities prevented Camerarius from knowing Vesalius, yet as a friend of Falloppius he may well have had a considerable indirect knowledge and interest in the great anatomist. The phrase "son of Joachim" is a reference to the physician's father, Joachim Camerarius, 1500-1574, a celebrated German humanist, friend of Luther and Melanchthon, professor of rhetoric at Tubingen, and later the reorganizer of the University of Leipzig. It is quite possible that the book was a gift from father to son-- certainly a fitting gift to a young medical student-- and the inscription, which is in the hand of the son, would admit of that interpretation. In that case, however, filial regard should have led the younger Camerarius to record the source of the presentation. The second inscription: Harles Dr. Erl., must be that of Johann Christian Friedrich Harless, 1773-1853, of Erlangen, a distinguished physician and medical historian. Unfortunately, there is no indication as to how the book passed from the family of Camerarius to Harless, nor how thereafter it came into the possession of another historian of medicine, Ernst Seidel of Oberspaar, Saxony, whose entire collection, including this volume, was purchased for the Lane Medical Library in 1921." (C. D. O'Malley, Two Association Copies of the Fabrica, J. Hist. Med. 10 (1955) 426-28).--J. Norman, 2006.
Book — , dlxii,  pages : illustrations (woodcuts) ; 30 cm (folio)
The work is copiously illustrated with about 1600 woodcuts, including a comet resembling a spaceship sighted in Arabia in 1479, though the concept of a spaceship hardly existed in the 16th century. --
This encyclopedic chronicle, the title of which may be translated as Omens and Portents from the Beginning of the World up to These Our Present Times, describes portentious events in human history, including descriptions of many monstrous births, both human and animal, and imaginary combinations of both. For this reason it has been considered the earliest book concerning teratology though it may hardly be considered a scientific book, even by the standards of its time. In it actual cases are uncritically mingled with mythical creatures. That these would have been included in a book on omens and portents indicates the powerful anxieties that monstrous births generated in communities, and the resultant search for causes. --
Wolfhart originally published his book in Latin in Geneva in 1557, with his name Latinized to Lycosthenes. The Lane Library copy is of the German translation published the same year. The work was subsequently translated into English by Stephen Batman in his hugely popular The Doome: Warning to All Men to the Judgement (1581), which supplemented it with further reports gleaned by Batman mainly from England, especially during the 24 years that followed the publication of Lycosthenes' book.--J. Norman, 2006.
Book — , 323, , 95,  pages,  leaves of plates : illustrations ; 21 cm (4to)
De renum structura, officio, & administratione
De auditus organis
De motu capitis
De vena, quae ... Graecis dicitur, et de alia, quae in flexu brachij communem profundam producit
De dentibus (special title page;
Annotationes horum opusculorum ex Hippocrate, Aristotele, Galeno, aliisque authoribus collectae [a Petro Matthaeo Pino]
In 1562 and 1563 Bartolomeo Eustachi (circa 1505-1574) wrote a series of anatomical treatises on the kidneys (De Renum Structura), the organ of hearing (De Auditus Organis), the venous system (De Vena quae Azygos Graecis Dicitur) and the teeth (De Dentibus), which he issued together with the annotations of his relative, Pier Matteo Pini (born circa 1540) under the title Opuscula Anatomica. The treatise on the kidney, the first work devoted specifically to that organ, showed a detailed knowledge of the kidney surpassing any earlier work; it contained the first account of the adrenal (suprarenal) gland and a correct determination of the relative levels of the kidneys. The treatise on the ear provided the first post-classical account of the Eustachian tube, while the work on the azygos vein contained the first description of the thoracic duct and of the valvula venae in the right ventricle of the heart, the so-called "Eustachian valve." --
In his treatise on dentistry Eustachi was the first to study the teeth in any great detail: basing his work on the dissection of fetuses and stillborn infants, he gave an important description of the first and second dentitions, described the hard outer tissue and soft inner structure of the teeth, and attempted an explanation of the problem (not yet completely solved) of the sensitivity of the tooth's hard structure. This last work was also issued separately; it bears its own title-leaf dated 1563. --
The work contains 8 engraved full-page text illustrations probably drawn by Eustachi and Pier Matteo Pini, and engraved by Giulio de Musi (fl. 1550). Pini also prepared the 168 pages of annotations to Eustachi's anatomical treatises. The illustrations are on the unnumbered pages between pp. 1-20 (first series). These plates are the first 8 in the series of 47 anatomical plates that Eustachi and Pini prepared in 1552, and the only ones of that series to be published during Eustachi's lifetime.--J. Norman, 2006.