Andreas Vesalius (1514–1564).
De humani corporis fabrica libri septem.
Basel: Joannes Oporinus, 1555. (BRC0001)
Vesalius is considered to be the founder of modern anatomical studies. Although trained in the classical tradition of medicine based on the writings of Galen (129–ca. 216), Vesalius created an entirely new method of understanding human anatomy, based on dissection and direct observation, with the publication in 1543 of his magnificent De Humani Corporis Fabrica (“The Structure of the Human Body”). A complete anatomical and physiological study of every part of the body, the work’s combination of detailed textual descriptions and visual representations was revolutionary when published. The woodcut illustrations created new technical standards for anatomical illustration and are still highly regarded for their striking imagery, accuracy, and great detail. This second folio edition, published in 1555, includes the same plates as the 1543 edition with minor variations in the text. The Sellers Collection copy includes occasional marginal annotations in a contemporary hand.