From Ars to Scientia: The revolution of anatomic illustration

Sean B. Smith*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Art and anatomy have been closely related since the Renaissance, when artists studied the human body to gain more perfect perspectives, and anatomists began illustrating their texts. As the two fields became increasingly intertwined, the distinctions between artistic drawings and scientific illustrations of the human body's form and function became increasingly blurred. Early Renaissance anatomists were more artistic than scientific with their images, but Hieronymus Fabricius ab Acquapendente (1533-1619) provided a crucial turning point in the evolution of anatomic illustration. His new and strict focus upon scientific illustration developed in the context of previous anatomists' work and theories, but his is a critical and previously untold story in the history of medicine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)382-388
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Anatomy
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Anatomy
  • Art
  • Fabricius
  • Illustration
  • Vesalius

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Histology


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