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Vesalius and the emergence of veridical representation in Renaissance anatomy.
Prog Brain Res. 2013; 203:3-32.PB

Abstract

The Renaissance marks the introduction of veridical representation of anatomical structure into printed books. For centuries, anatomy that had relied solely on textual description and the authority of the written word was transformed. An existing graphic tradition only visualized function within a humoral theory, schematically "naming the parts" or mapping the "uses of the parts" for mnemonic purposes. In the sixteenth century, anatomists and artist began to apply their knowledge and skills to present the "fabric" of the dissected human body with increasing detail and accuracy, exemplified by the naturalistic illustrations of the brain in Vesalius' De humani corporis fabrica (Basel, 1543). How did this transformation occur? Among the causal factors, the importance the humanist textual scholarship will be shown not only in the recovery of the anatomical writings of Galen (129-ca. 216), in particular, but also in providing a model in establishing anatomical "truth" by a method of "comparison." It will be argued that Vesalius' comparative approach in dissection, using both human and animal preparations against Galen's textual description, paved the way for cumulative observations of greater detail, which in turn required the representational skills of artists. An analysis of Vesalius' views between 1538 and 1543 shows a shift in the use of illustrations from serving as a visual record to compensate for limited access to cadavers in teaching, to becoming an indispensable tool to accurately convey detailed anatomical structure through the medium of printing. With the Fabrica, morphology became divorced from humoral function and enduring paradigms established that dominated until the nineteenth century.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Humanities in Medicine, Texas A&M Health Science Center, Bryan, TX, USA. Electronic address: russell@medicine.tamhsc.edu.

Pub Type(s)

Biography
Historical Article
Journal Article
Portrait

Language

eng

PubMed ID

24041275

Citation

Russell, Gül A.. "Vesalius and the Emergence of Veridical Representation in Renaissance Anatomy." Progress in Brain Research, vol. 203, 2013, pp. 3-32.
Russell GA. Vesalius and the emergence of veridical representation in Renaissance anatomy. Prog Brain Res. 2013;203:3-32.
Russell, G. A. (2013). Vesalius and the emergence of veridical representation in Renaissance anatomy. Progress in Brain Research, 203, 3-32. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-444-62730-8.00001-3
Russell GA. Vesalius and the Emergence of Veridical Representation in Renaissance Anatomy. Prog Brain Res. 2013;203:3-32. PubMed PMID: 24041275.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Vesalius and the emergence of veridical representation in Renaissance anatomy. A1 - Russell,Gül A, PY - 2013/9/18/entrez PY - 2013/9/18/pubmed PY - 2014/4/8/medline KW - Berengario da Carpi KW - Charles Estienne KW - Fabrica KW - Galen KW - Vesalius KW - Vigevano KW - anatomical illustration KW - brain dissection KW - rete mirabile KW - ventricular localization SP - 3 EP - 32 JF - Progress in brain research JO - Prog Brain Res VL - 203 N2 - The Renaissance marks the introduction of veridical representation of anatomical structure into printed books. For centuries, anatomy that had relied solely on textual description and the authority of the written word was transformed. An existing graphic tradition only visualized function within a humoral theory, schematically "naming the parts" or mapping the "uses of the parts" for mnemonic purposes. In the sixteenth century, anatomists and artist began to apply their knowledge and skills to present the "fabric" of the dissected human body with increasing detail and accuracy, exemplified by the naturalistic illustrations of the brain in Vesalius' De humani corporis fabrica (Basel, 1543). How did this transformation occur? Among the causal factors, the importance the humanist textual scholarship will be shown not only in the recovery of the anatomical writings of Galen (129-ca. 216), in particular, but also in providing a model in establishing anatomical "truth" by a method of "comparison." It will be argued that Vesalius' comparative approach in dissection, using both human and animal preparations against Galen's textual description, paved the way for cumulative observations of greater detail, which in turn required the representational skills of artists. An analysis of Vesalius' views between 1538 and 1543 shows a shift in the use of illustrations from serving as a visual record to compensate for limited access to cadavers in teaching, to becoming an indispensable tool to accurately convey detailed anatomical structure through the medium of printing. With the Fabrica, morphology became divorced from humoral function and enduring paradigms established that dominated until the nineteenth century. SN - 1875-7855 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/24041275/Vesalius_and_the_emergence_of_veridical_representation_in_Renaissance_anatomy_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/B978-0-444-62730-8.00001-3 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -
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