De humani corporis fabrica

Andreas Vesalius's "De humani corporis fabrica" (1543), page 163
Andreas Vesalius's "De humani corporis fabrica" (1543), page 163

Historical Context

"On the Fabric of the Human Body", was a radical text when it was first published in 1543 by the Flemish physician Andreas Vesalius and dedicated to the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V.

Not only did it take on the established wisdom of the writings of Galen, held as true since they were published in the second or third century AD, it also vividly illustrated dissection of the human body, a practice outlawed throughout much of the medieval ages.

Vesalius based the book on his own lectures on anatomy at the University of Padua. The work is particularly famous for the many striking woodcuts which illustrate the text, especially of the body in often allegorical poses.

Publication Info


Historical Publications