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Andreas Vesalius

 Anatomist, physician and author, (1514 - 1564)

He was born in Brussels on 31st December 1514, the son of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V’s apothecary.

He began his medical studies at Louvain University in Belgium before moving to the Paris Medical School in 1533. He quickly developed an interest in anatomy, for which he had a special talent.

In 1543, he published his seven-volume masterpiece De Humani Corporis Fabrica, a treatise on anatomy, magnificently illustrated by a Dutch pupil of Titian.

The book is now recognised as one of the greatest scientific works ever written. In its 600 pages, Vesalius describes in minute detail the human body’s bones, joints, muscles, heart, blood vessels, nervous system, internal organs and brain. Initially, his work met with virulent criticism, but this soon turned to acclaim and he deposed Galileo from his pedestal to become the new authority on anatomy.

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