IL FASCICULO DI MEDICINA OF 1493: MEDICAL CULTURE THROUGH THE EYES OF THE ARTIST

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Neurosurgery. 2006 Jan;58(1):187-96; discussion 187-96.

DiMaio S, Discepola F, Del Maestro RF.

Abstract

THE FASCICULUS MEDICINA, printed in 1491, is considered the first illustrated medical book. The Latin essays and illustrations in this volume provide insight into the medical knowledge of Western Europe and, in the Italian edition published in 1493, glimpses into the medical culture of the late 15th century. We outline the scientific and social environments into which the Fasciculus Medicinae of 1491 was introduced and the transition that occurred with the publication of the 1493 Italian edition. The artist of the 1493 Fasciculo witnessed a paradigm shift occurring. In four woodcuts, the artist captured four themes: the relevance of knowledge-based medicine, the emergence of laboratory medicine, the Hippocratic lessons of patient observation, and the emerging revolution in anatomy.