Andreas Vesalius, Belgian anatomist

Andreas Vesalius, Belgian anatomist

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Credit: CCI ARCHIVES/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564), Belgian anatomist. Vesalius is displaying the arm of a cadaver that has had the skin removed to show the musculature (red) and from which the nerves (white, lower right) have been dissected. Vesalius was made professor of anatomy and surgery at Padua University, Italy, in 1537. In 1543, Vesalius published his lectures in a book, De Corporis Humani Fabrica (On the Structure of the Human Body), which set a completely new level of accuracy in anatomy. His book was controversial because it disagreed with the accepted medical authority of the time. Vesalius' book was rich in detailed illustrations of the human body, and acquired a reputation for its great beauty. 17th century French portrait by Pierre Poncet.

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