Anatomy. ESTIENNE. De dissectione partium corporis...

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Anatomy. ESTIENNE. De dissectione partium corporis...
  Anatomy. ESTIENNE, Charles. De dissectione partium corporis humani libri tres. Una cum figuris & incisionum declarationibus, a Stephano Riverio chirurgo compositis. Paris, Simon de Colines, 1545

Folio, 335x225 mm; 18th century stiff vellum binding, gilt title-label on spine with false raised bands; (24), 375, i.e. 379, (1 blank) pp. Printer's device to title-page, 9-, 6- and 3-line white-on-black criblè initials, a few 3-line woodcut initials. 62 full-page anatomical woodcuts, and 101 smaller medical illustrations in the text. Marginalia in contemporary hand. Old signature erased to the title-page., few pages with a repair to lower corner, no loss of text. Some spots and signs of use, an unusually unsophisticated copy with margins.

Condition Report

First Edition of the finest anatomical work of the French Renaissance, with exotic images unique in the history of anatomical art. This work is particularly important in neurology for containing the most detailed pre-Vesalian brain dissections. Garrison-Morton: "first published work to include illustrations of the whole external venous and nervous systems". McHenry, Garrison's History of Neurology: "His eight dissections of the brain, made in 1539, give more anatomical detail than had previously appeared, particularly the first graphical presentation of the difference between convolutional patterns of the cerebrum and cerebellum". The woodcuts are outstanding. The first cut is signed with the initials "S.R." of the surgeon Etienne (Stephanus) de la Rivière, who assisted Estienne in preparing drawings of the anatomical details. Nine of the cuts are signed by Jollat, either with his name or with his sign of Mercury. A number of the Jollat blocks also have the dates 1530, 1531, or 1532. Six of the Jollat blocks and one other block also have a cutter's signature of the Lorraine cross, probably from the Tory atelier (Jacquemin Woeiriot?). DSB: "In the De dissectione, Estienne stated at the outset the principle of the new anatomical method: "One should not believe in books on anatomy but far more in one's own eyes." The book's many original observations include the morphology and physiological significance of the "feeding holes" of bones, the cartilaginous meniscus of the temporomandibular joint, the orbicular ligament of the radius, the three-part composition of the sternum, the path of the trigeminal and phrenic nerves, a sharp distinction between the sympathetic chain (considered as a nerve) and the vagus, the canal of the ependyma and the enlargements of the spinal cord, the cerebrospinal fluid, the valvulae in the hepatic veins, and the scrotal septum. Estienne also described the ideal anatomical theater and expounded the technique of dissecting cadavers and wiring skeletons."


Adams S 1725; Garrison-M. 378; Heirs of Hippocrates 256; Norman 728; Renouard, Colines 409/410; Schreiber, Colines 222; Mortimer 213.
wed 19 February 2020
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