De dissectione partium corporis humani libri,
(Paris, Simon de Colines, 1545)
Author: ESTIENNE, Charles (1504–1564)
One of the great woodcut illustrated books of the French Renaissance and the most magnificent anatomical atlas of the sixteenth century next to Vesalius’ Fabrica. Although published two years after Vesalius’ Fabrica (1543) it antedates it in actual composition. The artistically drawn figures are shown in very special poses against unusual background settings, depicted hooked up on trees, propped up against crumbling masonry, or strawling in great chairs. Most of these morbid and remarkable drawings were completed by 1530, when the first woodcut is dated. Estienne’s De dissectione was the first work to show detailed illustrations of dissections, the first to illustrate the whole human body and the first to include illustrations of the whole external venous and nervous systems.