From the sixteenth century, the study of human anatomy through dissection revolutionised medicine. The physician Bidloo’s work peels back the successive layers of the hand and forearm, staging the uncovered muscles and tendons in a series of dynamic poses. Each illustration graphically communicates the wonder of the complex structures of the hand and its potential as the instrument of action and creativity.
Govard Bidloo (1649–1713), Anatomia humani corporis, centum cinque tabulis ... illustrata (Anatomy of the human body illustrated with 105 plates)
Printed by Joannis a Someren et al., Amsterdam, 1685, with plates designed by Gerard Lairesse (1641–1711). 52.2 x 36 cm
Cambridge University Library, LA.1.63, plate 71
The Syndics of Cambridge University Library