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Vesalius Muscle Man


When Andreas Vesalius studied medicine in the 1530s, knowledge of human anatomy was based on the ancient teachings of Galen, who had only dissected animals. Vesalius taught himself human cadaveric dissection, and began to doubt Galen’s authority. When Professor of Anatomy at Padua, he prepared his famous work De Humani Corporis Fabrica. This work revolutionised medical science by challenging long-held tradition, and by its use of amazing woodcut illustrations. From now on students of medicine and surgery could study more accurate visualisations of the human body, drawn from observation and scientific investigation.

The iconic series of fourteen ‘muscle men’ in the ‘Fabrica’ shows the human body in various states of dissection. The figures are depicted in the Euganean Hills near Padua, where Vesalius was Professor of Anatomy.

Vesalius Muscle Man


Vesalius Muscle Man


“Vesalius Muscle Man,” Heritage, accessed May 30, 2024,