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Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564), [1] [2] [3]  a Belgian (Flemish) Renaissance physician/surgeon, anatomist and physiologist, revolutionized the study of biology and the practice of medicine in virtue of the results of his meticulously detailed dissections of human cadavers never previously performed, in virtue of the writing [in Latin] of lucid descriptions of his anatomical and physiological findings, and in virtue of having his anatomical findings exquisitely illustrated by his collaborator, Jan Stephan van Calcar, a protégé of the great Italian artist, Titian.[4] [5] In 1543, at the age of 29 years, Vesalius published De Humani Corpus Fabrica (On the Workings of the Human Body.) — generally referred to as Fabrica — a work of many years of observations and illustrations of human (orange) dissections that not only laid the foundation for a realistic human anatomy but also demonstrated (sky blue) numerous errors in the anatomical assertions of the self-proclaimed heir (bluish-green) of Hippocrates (460-360 CE), Galen (129-216 CE) of Pergamum, the Greek physician/surgeon (yellow) who based his description of human anatomy on extrapolations of dissections (blue) of animals and observations of the wounds of gladiators in Rome and Pergamum. Having (vermillion) unquestionably accepted Galen's conclusions, as had their predecessors (reddish-purple) throughout the Medieval era, Vesalius's contemporaries found themselves stunned and outraged at what eventuated as one of the most important contributions to the evolution of biology and medicine. In his book on the evolution of medicine, William Osler considered it one of the great books of the world:

Repeating against a grey background

Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564), [1] [2] [3]  a Belgian (Flemish) Renaissance physician/surgeon, anatomist and physiologist, revolutionized the study of biology and the practice of medicine in virtue of the results of his meticulously detailed dissections of human cadavers never previously performed, in virtue of the writing [in Latin] of lucid descriptions of his anatomical and physiological findings, and in virtue of having his anatomical findings exquisitely illustrated by his collaborator, Jan Stephan van Calcar, a protégé of the great Italian artist, Titian.[4] [5] In 1543, at the age of 29 years, Vesalius published De Humani Corpus Fabrica (On the Workings of the Human Body.) — generally referred to as Fabrica — a work of many years of observations and illustrations of human (orange) dissections that not only laid the foundation for a realistic human anatomy but also demonstrated (sky blue) numerous errors in the anatomical assertions of the self-proclaimed heir (bluish-green) of Hippocrates (460-360 CE), Galen (129-216 CE) of Pergamum, the Greek physician/surgeon (yellow) who based his description of human anatomy on extrapolations of dissections (blue) of animals and observations of the wounds of gladiators in Rome and Pergamum. Having (vermillion) unquestionably accepted Galen's conclusions, as had their predecessors (reddish-purple) throughout the Medieval era, Vesalius's contemporaries found themselves stunned and outraged at what eventuated as one of the most important contributions to the evolution of biology and medicine. In his book on the evolution of medicine, William Osler considered it one of the great books of the world:

Comparing 'tan' (#A0522D) and 'soft red' (#810541, a shade of 'maroon')

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.


References

  1. 1.0 1.1 O'Malley CD. (1964) Andreas Vesalius of Brussels, 1514-1564. Berkeley: University of California Press.
    • Note: Considered the definitive biography.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Miranda EA. Andreas Vesalius: A Biography. Original written by: Richard S. Westfall (1924-1996), Department of History and Philosophy of Science, Indiana University. Published here as a courtesy of Clinical Anatomy Associates, Inc. The [http://galileo.rice.edu/Catalog/NewFiles/vesalius.html original document can be found at the Galileo Project of the Rice University.
    • Note: Detailed resume of Vesalius Life and Work in outline form.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Lind LR (translator, preface, introduction), Asling CW (anatomical notes), Clendening L (forward). (1949) The Epitome of Andreas Vesalius. New York: Macmillan. ISBN .
    • Note: This book epitomizes Vesalius’s longer signal book, De Humani Corporis Fabrica (The Fabric of the Human Body. The translator’s Introduction offers a brief biography of Vesalius on pp. xvii-xix in the Questia text.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Hazard J. (1996) Jan Stephan Van Calcar, a valuable and unrecognized collaborator of Vesalius. Hist Sci Med. 30(4):471-80. [Article in French] PMID: 11625048
    • English Abstract: Numerous and legitimate homages have been paid to Andreas Vesalius, eminent personality of the medical Renaissance. At that time scientific anatomy was inseparable from artistic one. As soon as 1535, Vesalius then 21 years old taught in Padova and at the University of Venice, a town harbouring many artists. It has been suggested that he had obtained the collaboration of Titian himself, but this hypothesis has not been confirmed. In fact "Lives of the best painters, sculptors and architects" G. Vasari expresses his admiration for the prints drawn by Calcar: "the illustrations conceived by Vesalius for his Fabrica and drawn by the outstanding flemish painter Jan Stephan Calcar are of an excellent style". For Carel van Mander nicknamed the "Vasari of the ancient Netherlands", it is to Calcar we owe Vesalius' anatomical plates. The reasons which have led this Flemish born around 1510 in Kalkar, a small town of the Cleves dukedom, to settle in Venice are both general and personal. Pupil of Titian, Calcar was an excellent portrait-painter who assimilated so well his master's style that he was adopted by the Italians calling him Giovanni Calcar. This valuable collaborator of Vesalius and brilliant pupil of Titian went to Naples for unknown reasons and stayed there until his premature death around 1546.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Zimbler MS. (2001) Vesalius' Fabrica: The Marriage of Art and Anatomy. Arch Facial Plast Surg 3:220-221. PMID: 11625048
    • Excerpt: The Renaissance also brought about the emergence of a new focus in the realm of art. Aesthetic theory now dictated that a work of art should be a faithful representation of nature. This assumption required artists to acquaint themselves with the structure and physical properties of natural phenomena. Art had gone scientific! By the 15th and 16th centuries, artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael turned with enthusiasm to the detailed study of the human body.
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