Myology before Vesalius Giovanni Battista Canani (1515-1579 n.s.) and his Musculorum Humani Corporis Picturata Dissectio

Auteur(s): Francis Van Glabbeek, Maurits Biesbrouck and Jacqueline Vons

Date de parution: 9 March 2023

Lien vers l'éditeur: 
Garant Publishers


Giambattista Canani (1515-1579 n.s.) from Ferrara was a remarkable and leading physician-anatomist in the sixteenth century, but he is far less well known today than his contemporaries such as Vesalius, Fallopio or Colombo. His only work on the muscular anatomy of the upper limb Musculorum humani corporis picturata dissectio can in fact be considered as a masterpiece of its time, no less innovative than Vesalius’ Fabrica. The Picturata dissectio is revolutionary in its content and contains copper etchings of exceptional quality and precision. This is the result of Canani’s extensive dissections of human corpses, performed meticulously and with a determination to discover the tiniest details of the human anatomy. Only a few original copies of this very rare work are now in existence, and it can only be seen in a small number of the most prestigious libraries: in Europe mostly in Italy (Bologna, Ferrara, Padua, Pavia, Milan) but also in Dresden, Glasgow, Krakow, London, Oxford, Uppsala and Vienna. The only two original copies in the United States are in the Yale University Library and the Rubenstein Library of Duke University, the latter here published in facsimile. The study of this beautiful and historically.

Jacqueline Vons est maitre de conférences HDR honoraire de l'Université de Tours