Picturing the Book of Nature: Image, Text, and Argument in Sixteenth-Century Human Anatomy and Medical Botany

Sachiko Kusukawa


Because in their mind-blowing, naturalistic images of crops and the human physique, Leonhart Fuchs’s De historia stirpium and Andreas Vesalius’s De humani corporis fabrica are landmark courses within the historical past of the broadcast e-book. yet as Picturing the booklet of Nature makes transparent, they do greater than undergo witness to the advance of publication publishing through the Renaissance and to the prominence attained via the fields of clinical botany and anatomy in eu medication. Sachiko Kusukawa examines those texts, in addition to Conrad Gessner’s unpublished Historia plantarum, and demonstrates how their illustrations have been essential to the emergence of a brand new kind of argument in this period—a visual argument for the medical learn of nature.

 
To set the degree, Kusukawa starts with a survey of the technical, monetary, inventive, and political stipulations that ruled the construction of revealed books throughout the Renaissance. It used to be through the first 1/2 the 16th century that realized authors started utilizing photos of their learn and writing, yet as the know-how was once so new, there has been loads of number of thought—and frequently disagreement—about precisely what photographs may do: how they need to be used, what measure of authority might be attributed to them, which photo components have been bearers of that authority, and what varieties of truths photographs may and did encode. Kusukawa investigates the works of Fuchs, Gessner, and Vesalius in gentle of those debates, scrutinizing the scientists’ remedy of illustrations and tracing their motivation for together with them of their works. What effects is an interesting and unique examine of the visible size of medical wisdom within the 16th century.

 

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