On the Shoulders of the Medical Illustration Giants

The first year students have been up to more educational adventures with their group field trip to the University of Chicago library, which is home to several very rare antique medical texts. Every year, our Biomedical Visualization students get to meet with the librarians and (gently!) handle the books, which are filled with dozens of elaborate medical illustrations. Each student also does research on a different medical text, so the group can all learn something about the history and origins of each book.

Students get to touch the centuries-old medical textbooks from the University of Chicago's collection.

Students get to touch the centuries-old medical textbooks from the University of Chicago’s collection.

For example, student Tiffany Raber researched the 1554 text, History of the composition of the human body by Juan Valverde de Amusco, which was based on the work of Vesalius, but made important corrections on observations of muscles and the eye. Andy Schulte reported on Bernhard Siegfried Albinus’ 1747 Tabulae sceleti et musculorum corporis humani, illustrated by Jan Wandelaar. Albinus’ text is known for the beautiful accompanying engravings of the human skeleton and musculature, but also for fanciful backgrounds starring Clara, the first live rhinoceros to visit Europe.

Illustration by Wandelaar from Tabulae sceleti et musculorum corporis humani, featuring Clara the rhino

Illustration by Wandelaar from Tabulae sceleti et musculorum corporis humani, featuring Clara the rhino

DaVinci, Vesalius, Albinus, Netter, Brodel… current BVIS graduate? We each strive to contribute to the modern body of scientific and medical knowledge, but it helps to know your illustration history!  

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One comment

  1. Carrie

    hola…. sabes paisas de pasaron de verdad q con tremendo material.. pero asi me gusta carajo sigan asi y nunca se acaben los exitos y saquen pecho m&##030;…&88232; por el peru y apurumac- ocobamaba carajo ARRIBA EL PERU CARAJO

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