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Estienne (Charles)

De Disectione partium corporis humani libri tres. Una cum figuris et incisionum declarationibus a Stephano Riverio compositis. Paris, S. de Colines, 1545.

Fine copy of the first edition. Device and title and 62 magnificent full page anatomical woodcuts. Some dated 1530-32 bear Jollat's monogram, others have Tory's double-cross. Renouard states that in 1539 when the printing of Estienne's anatomy was nearly finished he was accused of having imitated the Anatomy of Vesalius and was sued for it. On the other hand Estienne himself bitterly complains of having been plagiarised by the Basle printers. "The anatomy is throughout pre-Vesalian. The figures of the thorax, the brain, ad the eye are better. The bodies are often artistically drawn. The female figures on the whole excel the male figures. The latter plates approach the bold style of Buonarroti. The text is particularly significant from the view-point of the history of anatomic discoveries." -Choulant-Frank. "The most fully illustrated of the pre-Vesalian anatomies is that of Charles Estienne (1503-64). The illustrations are the earliest, except those of Leonardo, in which whole systems, venous, arterial, or nervous are shown. Estienne's best department is, perhaps, that of arthrology, and he has good descriptions of the clavicular joints of the temporo-maxillary articulation and of the joints and ligaments of the spine. He was the first to trace blood vessels into the substance of bone. His figures display the vermiform appendix. He was the first6 to remark upon the valves in the veins, though of their function he had no inkling. Most remarkable of his observations is that of the canal in the spinal cord, which was not again remarked upon until the work of J.B. Senac (1724). He lays much emphasis on glands of which he describes the parotid, the thymus, the lymphatic glands at the root of the mesentery, and the armpit and the groin, and apparently the lachrymal glands. The book is one of the best sources for estimating the state of anatomy immediately preceding Vesalius."-Singer

First published work to include illustrations of the whole external venous and nervous systems. The physician author was the son of Henri Estienne, the founder of the Estienne dynasty of scholar-printers, and the son-in-law of the printer of this book, Simon de Colines. The magnificent woodcuts in this work were by Jean("Mercure") Jollat and the surgeon/artist and collaborator on the work, Estienne de la Riviere, possibly after designs by the Florentine artist/architect Giovanni Battista Rosso. The cuts were begun as early as 1539. However publication of this manual of dissection was delayed because of a lawsuit brought against Estienne by Riviere. Had the book appeared prior to 1543 as planned it would have eclipsed some of the innovation of Vesalius's Fabrica. (Morton's Medical Bibliography, Fifth Edition, Edited by Jeremy M. Norman)'s

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