Book Review: Albinus on Anatomy

Albinus on Anatomy

Bernhard Siegfried Albinus (1697 - 1770) was a German-born Dutch anatomist which probably explains why even in the eighteen century, his drawings were so accurate. This anatomy book is a compilation of work from two books he wrote at that time, Tabulae Sceleti et Musculorum Corporis Humani (Tables of the Human Body) and Tabulae Ossium Humanorum (Table of the Human Bones).

When I first saw work of Albinus, it was in Drawing Lessons from the Great Masters. There's a skeleton posing in front of a grazing rhinoceros. And on the cover of this book, there's a cupid over a skeleton's shoulder, trying to throw a cloth over it. How cool is that?

Apparently, the drawings were actually copperplate engravings created with the help of Jan Wandelaar. He's the guy who added the decorative background art. It's great foresight to use long lasting engravings instead of print. The reproduction in this book is brilliant because of that, being able to retain all the details not lost to any degradation. You can still see clearly the intricate cross hatches that wrap onto the surface of muscles and bones.

The content is presented with both the original anatomy illustration together with an outlined line art with labels. There are also close ups on the specific parts, which are a marvel to look at. It's comprehensive enough but nothing is mentioned on how the muscles work or body functions.

Overall a pretty useful and definitely interesting anatomy reference book.

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