Tag Archives: Vesalius

Lumbar puncture

JMS Pearce Hull, England   Fig 1. Dominici Cotugno’s De Ischiade Nervosa, 1764. 1770. Access to cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in life as an aid to diagnosis proved impossible until lumbar puncture. Galen of Pergamon (AD 130–200) failed to recognize CSF; he described a vaporous, not aqueous, humor that he called περιττώματα (residues) in the cerebral ventricles. […]

Dr. Fritz Kahn and medical infographics

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Der Mensch als Industriepalast (Man as Industrial Palace). A human head in profile divided into offices, staffed by little men, and areas of industrial production. Artwork by Fritz Kahn in Das Leben des Menschen; eine volkstümliche Anatomie, Biologie, Physiologie und Entwick-lungs-geschichte des Menschen (Kosmus publishers, Stuttgart, 1926). Chromolithograph. Via the […]

Between Vesalius and the CAT scan

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Museo di Storia Naturale di Firenze, Zoologia “La Specola”, Florence, Italy. Wax anatomical models. September 2006. Photo by Daderot. Via Wikimedia. CC BY-SA 3.0. Scribe: noun. A person who copies documents, especially a person who made handwritten copies before the invention of printing. —dictionary.com   The first reliable anatomic drawings based […]

Harvey Cushing and pituitary diseases

JMS Pearce Hull, England, UK   Fig 1. Harvey Cushing. Cropped from: Harvey Williams Cushing and Sir Charles Scott Sherrington. Photograph, 1938. Wellcome Collection. Public Domain. Of the many aspects and contributions of Harvey Williams Cushing (1869-1939) (Fig 1), this sketch concentrates on his identification of a basophilic tumor of the pituitary with adrenal hyperfunction that […]

The striking social tableaux vivants of Lejaren à Hiller (1920s to 1940s)

J.T.H. Connor St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada   A social tableau vivant by Lejaren à Hiller dated 1935 illustrating his characteristic dramatic photographic style and striking compositions depicting a medical hero, the human body, and often religious icons. The signature of the photographer/artist is visible in the lower left corner of the image. From “Sutures in […]

Book review: The Origins of Modern Science

Arpan K. Banerjee Solihull, United Kingdom   Cover of The Origins of Modern Science: From Antiquity to the Scientific Revolution by Ofer Gal. Science and medicine have long been intertwined: many advances in the field of medicine would not have been possible without prior knowledge of fundamental science. It is not surprising, therefore, that a […]

Berengario da Carpi, pre-Vesalian anatomist (1460-1530)

Berengario da Carpi was the most important anatomist of the generation preceding the so-called Anatomical Trinity of Vesalius, Fallopio, and Eustachio. He is regarded as one of the founders of scientific anatomy, challenging the reliance on ancient texts and emphasizing the primacy of direct observation based on dissecting the human body. A prolific author, he […]

Juan Valdeverde de Amusco (1525-1588)

In the days before intellectual property laws (and when plagiarism was sometimes viewed as a compliment to the author) Juan Valverde of Spain wrote a book on anatomy so successful that it went through sixteen editions in four languages and its illustrations remain popular to this day. It was composed in 1556 and titled Anatomia […]

Redefining the medical artist

Meena Malhotra Chicago, Illinois, USA   Medical illustration is a long-standing tradition that dates back to the sixteenth-century anatomist and physician Andreas Vesalius. In his preface to his book, De humani corporis fabrica (On the Fabric of the Human Body), Vesalius commented on the value of images and dissection in learning anatomy: How much pictures […]

Andreas Vesalius: Wesel to Basel

Wyn Beasley Wellington, New Zealand   Leuven University in 1429 The Witing family—or Witjing or Witincx; spelling was capricious in those days—originated in Wesel, at the junction of the Rhine and Lippe rivers, and its members were court physicians. Peter is supposed to have attended the Emperor Frederik III, who reigned 1440-1493, and he translated […]