Historia de la Composicion del Cuerpo Humano

Historia de la Composicion del Cuerpo Humano

The famous anatomical work by Andreas Vesalius even featuring corrections: one of the greatest milestones in the research of human anatomy with 42 detailed copperplates

  1. Long hindered by the Church’s ban on “violating” the human body, anatomy rapidly progressed in the 16th century

  2. 42 detailed copperplates of the human body illustrate the work by Juan Valverde de Amusco (b. ca. 1525)

  3. Valverde even corrected errors in the images of the famous anatomical work by Andreas Vesalius (1514–64)

Historia de la Composicion del Cuerpo Humano

  1. Description
  2. Facsimile Editions (1)
Description
Historia de la Composicion del Cuerpo Humano

A collaboration of Spanish and French artists and craftsmen that yielded one of the greatest anatomical works of the 16th century. It is the Historia de la Composicion del Cuerpo Humano by Juan Valverde de Amusco (b. ca. 1525), published in Rome in 1556. The work features 42 masterful copperplates and eventually appeared in four languages and sixteen editions, four which are attributed to Gaspar Becerra (1520–1570), a student of Michelangelo (1475–1564), while the rest are improved copies of woodcuts found in the De humani corporis fabrica, a fundamental work of anatomy by Andreas Vesalius (1514–64) which was published in 1543. This treatise represents the magnum opus of the most important Spanish anatomist of the 16th century.

Historia de la Composicion del Cuerpo Humano

The 16th century was a time when the study of anatomy, long hindered by the Church’s ban on “violating” the flesh of the human body, progressed by leaps and bounds. The leading Spanish anatomist of the period was Juan Valverde de Amusco (b. ca. 1525), a native of Amusco who emigrated to Italy ca. 1542, studying medicine in Padua and Rome. He settled in Rome as a doctor and professor of anatomy. He is best known for his anatomical work, titled in English History of the Composition of the Human Body, which was published in 1556 by the Roman printing house of Antonio Salamanca (1479–1562) in collaboration with Antonio Lafreri (ca. 1512–1577), a Frenchmen. The work features 42 masterful copperplates and eventually appeared in four languages and sixteen editions, attesting to the fact that Valverde’s work did more than any other to spread and improve upon the famous treatise by Vesalius.

Masterful Copperplates of the Human Body

Valverde’s work is distinguished by its 42 detailed copperplates of the human body, four of which are attributed to Gaspar Becerra (1520–1570), a student of Michelangelo (1475–1564), while the rest are improved copies of woodcuts found in the De humani corporis fabrica, a fundamental work of anatomy by Andreas Vesalius (1514–64) which was published in 1543. Although Vesalius accused Valverde of plagiarism, claiming he had only performed a few dissections, Valverde corrected errors in the images, e.g. the muscles of the eyes, nose, and larynx. The most iconic of these graphic masterpieces is the “Muscular Man”, who is depicted holding his own skin in one hand and a knife in the other, and is comparable to Michelangelo’s depiction of St. Batholomew in the Sistine Chapel’s The Last Judgement. It is believed that Becerra’s illustrations were then engraved by Nicolás Beatrizet (ca. 1507 – ca. 1570), another Frenchmen. Thus, this work from Rome brought together some of the greatest artists and craftsmen of 16th century Spain and France.


Available facsimile editions:
Historia de la Composicion del Cuerpo Humano – D-44bis – Biblioteca Histórico Médica de la Universidad de València (Valencia, Spain)
Vicent Garcia Editores – Valencia, 1998
Limited Edition: 3160 copies
Facsimile Editions

#1 Historia de la Composicion del Cuerpo Humano

Vicent Garcia Editores – Valencia, 1998

Publisher: Vicent Garcia Editores – Valencia, 1998
Limited Edition: 3160 copies
1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size) Reproduction of the entire original document as detailed as possible (scope, format, colors). The binding may not correspond to the original or current document binding.
Price Category: € (under 1,000€)
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