Iulius Casserius: revolutionary anatomist, teacher and pioneer of the sixteenth and seventeenth century.Anat Sci Int. 2016 Jun; 91(3):217-25.AS
The demand for anatomical illustrations in the early modern period coincided with a scientific revolution. Starting out as a servant, Iulius Casserius became a great anatomist, who challenged the Galenic doctrine. The aim of this paper is to honor his memory and recreate the stylism of his anatomical illustrations. Online databases were searched for articles and original works. A medical graphic designer then recreated the figures presented in the article. Casserius was born around 1552. After moving to Padua, he served Fabricius in performing dissections. Obtaining his medical degree, he began working as an anatomical dissector and surgeon, later giving private anatomy lectures to students. He published De Vocis Auditusque and Pentaestheseion, and then became the lecturer of Surgery. In 1616, Casserius started his first Anatomy course and then died suddenly, at the height of his career. From the sixteenth century, illustrative techniques began focusing less upon artistry in favor of precise depictions of anatomical structures. Fabricius is considered to have used a strict scientific approach to illustrations for the first time. Anatomists of subsequent generations would still frequently use artistry in illustrations. Despite Casserius' mixed accuracy and artistry, his plates mark a new epoch in anatomic representation. Casserius left numerous eponyms and depicted, for the first time, many anatomical structures. Reprints in textbooks in the centuries following show convincing evidence of his success. Casserius contributed to medical education by taking the theatricality out of anatomy. Our article is a tribute to Casserius's achievements and depicts the revolution brought forth by a pioneer of his times.