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De Humani Corporis Fabrica
Andreas Vesalius
1543

Vesalius’ work contains images of the human body that remain iconic even today. When they were created in the sixteenth century they represented the epitome of a revolution in the study of human anatomy. The images
were based on direct observation through dissection and also featured the artistic flair of the Renaissance. Printed from beautifully carved woodblocks, the series of fourteen “muscle men” in particular evoke the sensibilities of the age.

The figures are set against a landscape background that, when linked together, forms a continuous panorama. Difficult to see in the bound book, the setting springs to life when the images are connected.
The landscape is very likely a view of the Euganean Hills, a region outside the city of Padua where Vesalius lived and worked. The style of architecture can still be seen in the region today.

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