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Distributed for Reaktion Books

The Art of Anatomy in Medieval Europe

A new history of the medieval illustrations that birthed modern anatomy.
This book is the first history of medieval European anatomical images. Richly illustrated, The Art of Anatomy in Medieval Europe explores the many ways in which medieval surgeons, doctors, monks, and artists understood and depicted human anatomy. Taylor McCall refutes the common misconception that Renaissance artists and anatomists such as Leonardo da Vinci and Andreas Vesalius were the fathers of anatomy who performed the first human dissections. On the contrary, she argues that these Renaissance figures drew upon centuries of visual and written tradition in their works.

232 pages | 50 color plates, 19 halftones | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 2023

Medieval Lives

History: European History


Medieval Studies

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"McCall offers an exciting new overview of the deep connections between visual and medical culture during the European Middle Ages. An important revision to the outdated caricature of medieval anatomy as intellectually and artistically backwards, this book tours the rich and varied personalities—monks, university anatomists, physicians, artists, and artist-anatomists—who generated both detailed knowledge and eloquent visualizations of the bodily interior. What results is a powerful argument: that medieval people had a close interest anatomical form, striving to innovate how the body was understood and how it was pictured."

Jack Hartnell, author of 'Medieval Bodies: Life, Death and Art in the Middle Ages'

"McCall's The Art of Anatomy in Medieval Europe is rich and scholarly, full of images both gorgeous and grisly and giving much needed attention to medieval anatomical art."

Mary Wellesley, author of 'Hidden Hands: The Lives of Manuscripts and Their Makers'

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