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Notes from the John Martin Rare Book Room

Notes from the John Martin Rare Book Room,  June 2013

STEVEN BLANKAART (1650-1702). Anatomia reformata, sive Concinna corporis humani dissection… Leiden, 1695.

Blankaart, Dutch pharmacist, physician, and anatomist, initially practiced pharmacy and later medicine in Amsterdam. He studied medicine and philosophy at Franeker where he graduated in 1674. He was a prolific writer and was the first to edit and publish a medical journal in Holland. Blankaart is also known for his use of the injection technique to study the details of blood vessel distribution. This technique was first suggested by Leonardo da Vinci and later used by such prominent anatomists as Graaf, Swammerdam, and Ruysch. Blankaart first published this popular anatomical text at Leiden in 1687. In this comprehensive work, he cited nearly seventy authors whose works he had consulted. The finely engraved plates in this profusely illustrated work attest to Blankaart’s keen observational powers.  A plate depicts some of the apparatus used in the embalming process.