Vesalius, Andreas

Vesalius, Andreas
   Physician and anatomist. Born in Brussels, he was the son of an apothecary who served the Emperor Charles V. After study at the University of Louvain, he began the study of medicine at Paris, where he found the traditional anatomy lectures useless. He then returned to Louvain, took a baccalaureate in medicine (1537), and moved on to the University of Padua, the premier medical faculty in Europe, where he received a medical doctor-ate later that same year. He was immediately appointed professor of surgery, with the duty of conducting anatomical dissections. His early Tabulae anatomicae sex / Six Anatomical Tables (1538), produced jointly with a pupil of the painter Titian, was based on the ancient Greek anatomist Galen, whose work relied on animal dissections. But Vesalius' experience in dissections convinced him that Galen's book, the standard textbook on anatomy, was full of errors, and he began criticizing Galen in his lectures.
   Beginning in 1540 he worked on a new manual of anatomy, De hu-mani corporis fabrica / On the Structure of the Human Body (1543), for which he employed a skilled German painter and woodcut en-graver, Jan Steven van Calcar (known in Italy as Giovanni Flam-mingo), whose illustrations reflect Vesalius' new anatomical discov-eries even more accurately than the book's Latin text. Vesalius also produced a shorter text for use by students, his Epitome. This book was quickly translated into German. A considerably revised Latin edition appeared in 1555. That same year, Vesalius joined the Span-ish court, where he found the scientific climate less favorable than Padua had been. In 1564 before leaving on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, he accepted reappointment to the faculty at Padua, but he died on the return trip later that same year. His De fabrica is generally re-garded as the first significant step toward abandonment of the au-thority of Galen and the introduction of new material based on direct experimentation.

Historical Dictionary of Renaissance. . 2004.

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  • Vesalius, Andreas — Flemish Andries van Wesel born Dec. 1514, Brussels died June 1564, island of Zacynthus, Republic of Venice Flemish physician. Born into a family of physicians, he studied medicine at the University of Paris. As a lecturer in surgery, he insisted… …   Universalium

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  • Vesalius , Andreas — (1514–1564) Belgian anatomist Vesalius, born the son of a pharmacist in Brussels, Belgium, was educated at the universities of Louvain, Paris, and Padua, receiving his MD from the last in 1537. He was immediately appointed professor of anatomy… …   Scientists

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  • Vesalius,Andreas — Ve·sa·li·us (vĭ sāʹlē əs, zāʹ ), Andreas. 1514 1564. Flemish anatomist and surgeon who is considered the founder of modern anatomy. His major work, On the Structure of the Human Body (1543), was based on meticulous dissection of cadavers. * * * …   Universalium

  • Andreas Vesalius — (auch: Andreas Vesal) (* 31. Dezember 1514 in Brüssel; † 15. Oktober 1564 auf Zakynthos; eigentlich Andreas Witinck) war ein flämischer Anatom der Renaissance und gilt als Begründer der neuzeitlichen Anat …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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