Illustration for Hollands Diep, March 2007.
The article by Rascha Peper is about a book* on Frederick Ruysch (1638-1731), a Dutch anatomist now remembered for his pioneering work in anatomical preservation and the creation of dioramas or scenes incorporating human parts.
This 1683 painting, ‘The anatomical lesson by Dr. Frederick Ruysch’ by Jan van Neck, can be seen at the Amsterdams Historisch Museum. The place where Ruysch’s did these public dissections of human bodies, Theatrum Anatomicum or Anatomical Theatre, can still be visited at the Waag, at de Nieuwmarkt in Amsterdam.
My illustration for Hollands Diep is in fact a collage of photocopies taken from copper engravings made by Cornelis Huijberts, Josef Mulder and Jan Wandelaar in ‘Het Anatomisch Kabinet’ en ‘Het Kabinet der Dieren’ by Frederick Ruijsch.
Thanks to Museum Boerhave for having me use a copy of the original prints.
* For those who master the Dutch language:
De doodskunstenaar by Luuc Kooijmans on the life and work of Frederick Ruijsch is a great read!