Thes: 2. Tab.III – Depiction of a 6- or 7-month year old child with hydrocephalus. The child holds part of the placenta.

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SKU: 20190207ruysch-25 Category: Tag:


Thes: 2. Tab.III

etching / engraving on handlaid (verge) paper.
Sheet size: 17,3 x 22,3 cm. (6,8 x 8,8 inch). Image size: 15,4 x 21,1 cm. (6,1 x 8,3 inch).

From: ‘Thesaurus anatomicus …’ by Frederic Ruysch, published in Amsterdam: Joannes Wolters, 1701. 1st edition. Contains the first eight parts (of 12 total) of the rare first edition of Ruysch Thesaurus Anatomicus State: 1st Edition Ref: *Garrison-Morton 389; *Norman 1875; *Wellcome IV, p. 599 (includes legend pages(s)).

Made by C. Huijberts after Frederic Ruysch. Cornelis Huijberts (1669-1712) was art engraver and artist. He relocated to England in 1696. Huijberts engraved plates for works by Lairesse, and Leven en Dood der Doorluchtige Heeren Gebroeders C. en J. de Witt. Frederik Ruysch (Den Haag 1638 – Amsterdam 1731), was an anatomist, zoologist and botanist. He was the son of a government functionary, and trained as the pupil of a druggist. His interest in anatomy led him to study under Sylvius in Leiden, where he graduated on pleuritis in 1664. Ruysch devised a new method of preservation of specimens: arterial embalming using a secret recipe. Using this method he created a Cabinet, a museum in five rooms, where his specimens were exhibited. ‘Ruysch’ cabinet’ or museum was described as a perfect necropolis, all the inhabitants of which were asleep and ready to speak as soon as they were reawakened’, and attracted many visitors. His capacity for keen observation and his fabulous skill in injection made him the founder of eighteenth century anatomy. The illustrations are of a very high artistic merit. ‘He gave private courses in anatomy to foreign students and devoted himself throughout his life to making anatomical preparations. Ruysch drew on his art not only for strict medical science but also for expression and fantasy. He often made up preparations in a rather romantic, dramatic way. He prepared as an example the corpse of a child as if it were alive so that Peter the Great was inclined to kiss it. In 1715 he announced the sale of his collection. No buyers presented themselves before 1717, when Peter the Great bought it for 30.000 guilders. It was carefully packed and transported by boat to Russia. The tale that the collection was destroyed by sailers drinking the embalming fluid seems not to be true, or at least only partly so.

Condition: Good, given age. Some soiling from handling. A few small holes in left paper edge from binding. General age-related toning and/or occasional minor defects from handling. Please study scan carefully.



Additional information

Dimensions 17 × 17 × 1 cm


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