Govard Bidloo’s Anatomia corporis humani, first published in Latin in 1685, is one of the most famous early modern anatomical atlases. The beautifully rendered illustrations by artist Gerard de Lairesse are notable in how they differ from previous conventions of anatomical illustration. While the dissected figures seen in the works of Italian anatomists such as Vesalius and Casserius posed in lifelike positions, de Lairesse depicted the corpses as the dead bodies they were, and sometimes even included the various pins and clamps used in the dissection process.
De Lairesse’s illustrations later appeared in William Cowper’s Anatomy of Humane Bodies, published in 1698. Cowper added his own text and some decorative flourishes, but never acknowledged Bidloo’s work. Unsurprisingly, this proved to be a sore point for Bidloo, and he went on to launch an attack against Cowper in his Gulielmus Cowper, criminalis literari citatus, coram tribunali.
The Becker Library holds a 1734 Dutch translation of Bidloo’s publication (shown here) as well as 18th editions of Cowper’s Anatomy.