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Medieval and Renaissance anatomists: the printing and unauthorized copying of illustrations, and the dissemination of ideas.
Prog Brain Res. 2013; 203:33-74.PB

Abstract

The vanguard that began to question Galenic anatomical dogma originated in northern Italy in the latter half of the thirteenth century, and not coincidentally this was where human dissection was introduced, which in turn eventually fostered the origins of realistic anatomical illustration in the late fifteenth century. With the advent of the printing press and moveable type at this time, printed books began to supersede hand-copied medieval manuscripts, and labor-intensive techniques were soon developed to integrate text and illustrations on the printed page. The same technology was used to pirate the illustrations of prior authors with varying fidelity. Specific medieval and Renaissance anatomical illustrations can often be traced from their inceptions through different stages of development to the final printed images, and then through subsequent pirated versions in various abridgements or other compendia. The most important milestone in the development of anatomy and anatomical illustration was the publication in 1543 by Andreas Vesalii of De humani corporis fabrica (On the Fabric of the Human Body), commonly referred to simply as the Fabrica. With this work, Vesalii succeeded in coordinating a publication production team (author, artists, block cutters, publisher, and typesetters) to achieve an unprecedented integration of scientific discourse, medical illustration, and typography. However, despite Vesalii's valiant efforts to prevent unauthorized duplication, the illustrations from the Fabrica were extensively plagiarized. Although Vesalii found such piracy frustrating and annoying, the long-term effect was to make Vesalii's ideas known to a wider readership and to help solidify his own revolutionary contributions to anatomy.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Tomah, WI, USA. Electronic address: douglas.lanska@gmail.com.No affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Historical Article
Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

24041276

Citation

Lanska, Douglas J., and John Robert Lanska. "Medieval and Renaissance Anatomists: the Printing and Unauthorized Copying of Illustrations, and the Dissemination of Ideas." Progress in Brain Research, vol. 203, 2013, pp. 33-74.
Lanska DJ, Lanska JR. Medieval and Renaissance anatomists: the printing and unauthorized copying of illustrations, and the dissemination of ideas. Prog Brain Res. 2013;203:33-74.
Lanska, D. J., & Lanska, J. R. (2013). Medieval and Renaissance anatomists: the printing and unauthorized copying of illustrations, and the dissemination of ideas. Progress in Brain Research, 203, 33-74. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-444-62730-8.00002-5
Lanska DJ, Lanska JR. Medieval and Renaissance Anatomists: the Printing and Unauthorized Copying of Illustrations, and the Dissemination of Ideas. Prog Brain Res. 2013;203:33-74. PubMed PMID: 24041276.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Medieval and Renaissance anatomists: the printing and unauthorized copying of illustrations, and the dissemination of ideas. AU - Lanska,Douglas J, AU - Lanska,John Robert, PY - 2013/9/18/entrez PY - 2013/9/18/pubmed PY - 2014/4/8/medline KW - Renaissance KW - anatomical illustration KW - anatomy KW - history of medicine KW - human dissection KW - intaglio KW - medieval KW - plagiarism KW - printing KW - wood cut SP - 33 EP - 74 JF - Progress in brain research JO - Prog Brain Res VL - 203 N2 - The vanguard that began to question Galenic anatomical dogma originated in northern Italy in the latter half of the thirteenth century, and not coincidentally this was where human dissection was introduced, which in turn eventually fostered the origins of realistic anatomical illustration in the late fifteenth century. With the advent of the printing press and moveable type at this time, printed books began to supersede hand-copied medieval manuscripts, and labor-intensive techniques were soon developed to integrate text and illustrations on the printed page. The same technology was used to pirate the illustrations of prior authors with varying fidelity. Specific medieval and Renaissance anatomical illustrations can often be traced from their inceptions through different stages of development to the final printed images, and then through subsequent pirated versions in various abridgements or other compendia. The most important milestone in the development of anatomy and anatomical illustration was the publication in 1543 by Andreas Vesalii of De humani corporis fabrica (On the Fabric of the Human Body), commonly referred to simply as the Fabrica. With this work, Vesalii succeeded in coordinating a publication production team (author, artists, block cutters, publisher, and typesetters) to achieve an unprecedented integration of scientific discourse, medical illustration, and typography. However, despite Vesalii's valiant efforts to prevent unauthorized duplication, the illustrations from the Fabrica were extensively plagiarized. Although Vesalii found such piracy frustrating and annoying, the long-term effect was to make Vesalii's ideas known to a wider readership and to help solidify his own revolutionary contributions to anatomy. SN - 1875-7855 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/24041276/Medieval_and_Renaissance_anatomists:_the_printing_and_unauthorized_copying_of_illustrations_and_the_dissemination_of_ideas_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/B978-0-444-62730-8.00002-5 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -