Notes from the Rare Book Room, July 2011

Frederick Ruysch (1638-1731).  Thesaurus anatomicus.  10 pts.  1729-1737.

Rusch, a Dutch surgeon, anatomist and professor of anatomy at Leiden and Amsterdam, mastered (and probably invented) a method of minute injection of anatomical structures allowing detailed studies.  The recipe for the injected substance has been lost, however.  He made many anatomical investigations, including those of the vascular plexuses of the heart, and was the first to point out the nourishment of the fetus through the umbilical cord.  The ten parts of his Thesaurus Anatomicus are especially noteworthy, and the engraved illustrations which accompany them deserve special mention for their whimsical, almost surealistic, quality.