on 29 January 2015
Beautifully and generously illustrated hardback for anyone who is curious to track down the transformation of anatomical illustration from Renaissance to the Digital Era. I thought that the introductory text by Rifkin was alienatingly academic and written purely for art-critics or enthusiasts. Thankfully, the bulk of it contained very accessible 1-2 page biographies of key Western anatomy illustrators that spoke to the medical history enthusiast in me providing a very satisfying epistemological experiment. Seeing these often-forgotten masters' names to sometimes-wildly circulated prints added to the picture of blossoming drawing and understanding of anatomy down the decades. From Vesalius to Ruysch to Hunter all the way to Ellis and Gray, all were given their due here.
While the imaginative and downright diabolical directions in which anatomical drawing found itself provided the core, there were some interesting tidbits in the attached commentaries about changing technologies (woodcuts to copper-cuts to current digital rendering) that informed the detailing in illustrations and the transformation of then-synchronous, now-dichotomous interest in anatomy for those pursuing medicine and arts. In the end though, it is the assemblage of full-page illustrations that makes this one a collector's item for repeated reference.
on 17 December 2012
Amazingly put together. Beautiful prints, very informative, treated myself and have bought another copy since for my son who's a radiographer, he'll love it. A must have for anyone with any interest in medical illustration.