Dissecting Vesalius

Celebrating the founder of modern anatomy


An interdisciplinary symposium honored the 500-year anniversary of the birth of Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564), founder of the study of modern human anatomy. Washington University and St. Louis University jointly hosted three days of events inspired by the landmark publication of Vesalius’s De Humani Corporis Fabrica (Basel, 1543 and 1555) and the new critical edition and translation of this work, the New Fabrica.

The slideshow above offers a sampling of materials presented at the conference, highlighting the revolutionary aspects of Vesalius' work and placing him in the context of his contemporaries.  

The conference program featured internationally renowned speakers, an anatomy demonstration, rare books workshops and a publishers’ exhibit hall.

Because the original Fabrica represented a collaborative project involving a scientist (Vesalius), a humanist (Johannes Oporinus, the printer), and an artist (Jan van Kalkar), one goal of the conference was to encourage a network of scholars working in disparate fields to explore the potential for future interdisciplinary research.


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Online exhibit