Cover image for On the fabric of the human body. Book I, The bones and cartilages : a translation of De humani corporis fabrica libri septem
On the fabric of the human body. Book I, The bones and cartilages : a translation of De humani corporis fabrica libri septem
Vesalius, Andreas, 1514-1564.
Uniform Title:
De humani corporis fabrica. Liber 1. English
Publication Information:
San Francisco : Norman Pub., 1998.
Physical Description:
lxii, 416 pages : illustrations ; 31 cm.
General Note:
Presented by the Library Foundation in honor of Roland R. Benzow on the occasion of his retirement as a member of the Foundation's Board of Trustees, November 8, 1999.
Added Corporate Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
RBR SCIENCE 1998 .V4 Adult Non-Fiction Grosvenor Room-Rare Books-Appointment Needed
QM101 .V4713 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize

On Order



#Includes bibliographical references and indexes.

Author Notes

Born in Brussels, Belgium, Andreas Vesalius was a Flemish anatomist whose sixteenth-century work, De humani corporis fabrica, is widely considered one of the most influential medical books. Educated at the University of Louvain, Vesalius chose the University of Paris for his medical training, where he became interested in anatomy and acquired his skills at dissection, both in the tradition of Galen. He left Paris and completed his education in 1537 at the University of Padua, then the most famous college in Europe. In Padua, Vesalius published a dissection manual for his students and continued to refine his dissection techniques and to expand his knowledge of human anatomy, mainly by dissecting cadavers. He also began to note discrepancies between his observations and what was then published about human anatomy, based on Galen's work in the second century. In 1540 Vesalius began developing the Fabrica, as it is called, which took nearly three years. He supervised all aspects of the making of the book and its publication in 1543, giving the world the finest elucidation of anatomy to that date. It proved that much of Galenic anatomy was based on inaccurate assumptions, thus altering the study of medicine profoundly. The exquisite illustrations, drawn by artists in Titian's Venetian studio, are so outstanding that they are important as art and as science. Several supplements to the original and a second edition of this great anatomical treatise were published in Vesalius's lifetime. Surprisingly, he gave up his anatomical studies and became a court physician to Emperor Charles V and later to Philip II of Spain, at whose court he remained until his death. (Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Vesalius's De Humani Corporis Fabrica Libri Septem, first published in 1543, marked the initiation of the study of modern anatomy, which first caused an upheaval and eventually replaced the longstanding concepts and descriptions set forth by Galen many centuries before. Although there have been many revisions and modifications of this work over the centuries, this is the first time that translators have taken on the arduous and time-consuming task of translating the entire text (including marginal notes) of this first book of seven. The book's many woodcut illustrations are very detailed, accurate, and exact; indeed, they could be used in the study of osteology of the various skeletal parts in most professional schools today. The corresponding text, which makes up approximately one-quarter of the entire Fabrica, is equally detailed in its descriptive quality and superbly complements the illustrations. As an aid, there are extensive translator's notes at the end of each of the 40 chapters. The reader will appreciate several of the book's prefaces dealing with its history, anatomy, and translation, which provide essential and relevant information and background material. Also, one will be impressed by Vesalius' graceful literary style. Upper-division undergraduates and above. H. S. Pitkow; Temple University