Fabrica... (page 1/3)


Title: Fabrica...

Author: Vesalius, Andreas

Published by: Johannes Oporinus

City: Basel

Date: 1543

Total items: 14

Out of copyright (called public domain in the USA), hence royalty-free for all purposes usage credit requested, or as marked.

Some sample images

[picture: 174. Muscle Men, Table II]

174. Muscle Men, Table II

The “muscle men” illustrations each show a naked man, in a progressive state of dissection. De Fabrica wsa hoping that they would be useful not only for [...] [more...] [$]

[picture: 606. The quivering brain.]

606. The quivering brain.

Showing the anatomy of the brain. [$]

[picture: Decorative initial letter O with cherubs cooking soup (coloured version)]

Decorative initial letter O with cherubs cooking soup (coloured version)

This decorative initial letter “O” was used as a drop cap on the first page of the main text of the book; in this copy at Cambridge University Library, the initial has been painted [...] [more...] [$]

[picture: 18. Five Skulls]

18. Five Skulls

The top-left skull here is normal, and the others are abnormal. [$]

[picture: p. 650, showing page layout]

p. 650, showing page layout

Fine typography from the 16th century. This image shows use of “historiated initials” as drop caps (available on this Web site as separate images), marginalia, and careful control of the darkness and texture of the [...] [more...] [$]

Tags in this source:

anatomy animals bare feet beards borders brains cherubs children colour cooking death dragons food greyscale historiated initials inhabited initials initials letterd lettere letterl lettero letterq lettert medicine mythical creatures nudity page images people punishments religion skeletons skulls spooky tombs torture typography wolves

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Images from De humani corporis fabrica libri septem by Andreas Vesalius (1514 – 1564), and published in 1543 in Basel by the famous German printer Johannes Oporinus. Some of these images are relatively low quality; I recently discovered some better ones, and am updating them, courtesy of the U.S. National Library of Medicine; there are thumbnails and images at their Vesalius page, and higher resolution TIFF images are available.

See also the very helpful page at the National Library of Medicine on Vesalius; there is also (on words.fromoldbooks.org, our sister site, a biography of “Andrew Vesalius” written in on before 1812, as part of Chalmers’ General Biographical Dictionary.

Updike, in Printing Types, their history forms & use wrote (in vol. I):

“One city that stands out splendidly in the work of the sixteenth century German press is Basle. The great figure in printing there was Froben (1460 – 1527), who set up his printing-house as early as 1491; but who is now chiefly remembered by his associatoin with Erasmus [...]

In the group of distinguished printers there, were Oporinus, printer for Luther; Petri, Episcopius, Cratander, Curio, and Bebel. Their editions, especially the folios embellished by brilliant decorations and initials by the Holbeins, Urse Graf, and other designers, will repay study. It is easy to recognize most Basle books of this period by their heavy roman type, very solidly set, and by certain typographical peculiarities of arrangement. There are of course exceptions, such as the magnificent folio De Humani Corporis Fabrica, of Andreas Vesalius, printed by Oporinus in 1543—a volume not at all of the Froben order, but reminiscent rather of Plantin or some Italian printer. Its noble old style type and delicate italic, delightful initial letters, and the careful anatomical engravings and famous title-page “The Anatomical Chamber” (attributed to Titian but [really] by Jan Stephan van Calcar), make up a remarkable volume. The closeness of the type-setting is noteworthy and erallrecalls much earlier books, and its presswork is uniformly good.” (pp. 142 – 144)

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