Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564). De humani corporis fabrica libri septum. Basel: Johannes Oporinus, 1543.
Vesalius’ De humani corporis fabrica is a monumental work, notable for its departure from medical tradition, as well as its impressive woodcuts. As a student and young anatomist, Vesalius conducted numerous dissections. In doing so, he discovered that the second-century Greek physician, Galen—the absolute medical authority in Vesalius’ time—had made mistakes. Vesalius sought to correct these errors in the Fabrica, as well as demonstrate the value of dissection and first-hand observation in medicine.
The volume includes over 200 images, depicting the smallest bones up to full figure views of human skeletons and musculature. In this skeletal figure, two ossicles of the ear, the hyoid bone, and another skull rest on the sarcophagus next to the skeleton.