Andreas Vesalius, Belgian anatomist

Andreas Vesalius, Belgian anatomist

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Credit: SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564), Belgian anatomist, with anatomical equipment and books. Vesalius is most famous for the 1543 publication of his lectures in the book De Corporis Humani Fabrica (On the Structure of the Human Body), which set a completely new level of accuracy in anatomy. The book was controversial because it disagreed with the accepted medical authority of the time, the works of the Roman physician Galen. Vesalius' book was rich in detailed illustrations of the human body, and acquired a reputation for its great beauty. He lectured in many universities, conducting anatomical demonstrations in person. Engraving from the 1875 edition of Vies des Savants Illustres.

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