16th century illustration of a suspended corpse.

16th century illustration of a suspended corpse.

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Muscleman. Illustration of a 'muscleman', a suspended corpse with exposed muscles. It is from Vesalius' De Corporis Humani Fabrica ('On The Structure of the Human Body'), published in 1543. This book was the first accurate book on human anatomy and challenged the widely-accepted teachings of the Roman physician Galen. The book is notable for its numerous detailed illustrations of human anatomy, particularly of muscles. The illustrations were drawn both by Vesalius and by Jan Stephen van Calcar, a pupil of the artist Titian. The cadavers that Vesalius worked on were in short supply, and he often used bodies stolen from graves or those of condemned criminals.

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Keywords: 16th century, anatomy, cadaver, de corporis humani fabrica, de humani corporis fabrica, historical image, human body, imagery, muscle, muscle system, muscleman, muscular, vesalius

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