The 16th century was revolutionized by scientific and artistic novelties,
not the least in the anatomical and medical world. In this richly
illustrated book a multitude of academic scholars present new findings
concerning Vesalius and his contemporaries. One of those discoveries includes
a preparatory sketch by Jan Steven van Calcar for a drawing in
Vesalius’ famous ‘Fabrica’, called ‘The Philosopher’.
Also authentic letters, written by Vesalius to his friends Benedetto Varchi
and Ottavio Landi, are presented and translated for the first time, and are
thoroughly discussed, shedding new light on crucial periods of Vesalius’
life, such as his leave from academic Padua, exchanged for imperial service
to Charles V, or his contribution to the treatment of Philips II’s son,
crown prince Carlos in Spain. Anatomical novelties, discovered by Vesalius’
friends and contemporaries, are equally broadly exposed, like Canani’s
input in human arm musculature or Valverde’s ‘corrections’ of Vesalius’
‘Epitome’. Valverde’s publication became one of the greatest ‘bestsellers’
treating anatomy during the 16th and 17th century, thereby spreading the
‘Vesalian Revolution’ all over Europe. But also the relationship between
Vesalius and his Paduan room mate John Kay or Caius is scrutinised, as
are a number of family descendants of Vesalius.
It is newly acknowledged in this book that Vesalius influenced artists in
anatomical models and drawings, as well as his influence on veterinary
medicine. In short, this book offers an inspiring new account of Vesalius’
extraordinary long-term influence on anatomy, science and art in general.