Saturday, January 16, 2010

Gerard de Lairesse, Govard Bidloo and William Cowper - Anatomies

In 1865 Govard Bidloo published his Anatomia Humani Corporis with illustrations by Gerard de Lairesse and engravings by Abraham Blooteling. The Dutch edition Ontleding des menschelyken lichaams  was published in 1890. Despite the achieve ment of making anatomical illustrations of the quality of fine art, sales weren't so great so he sold the images to William Cowper who then wrote an English text and added nine new plates drawn by Henry Cook and engraved by Michiel van der Gucht.

The new plates included front and back views of the entire musculature. Cowper's book included and engraved title The Anatomy of Humane Bodies which was actually pasted right over Bidloo's title. You can see an example here at the  University of Iowa Hardin Library which has copies of both books.

Bidloo wasn't happy about this and there were many angry exchanges and pamphlets published in defense of both men. there is more on the controversy at the University of Windsor Leddy Library.
There is an another history at The Art of Anatomy - By Elaine Challacombe.

Plates from both books are at the National Institute of Health's web page: William Cowper, Govard Bidloo. Links to more engravings from Gerard de Lairesse are at the Wellcome Library's collection.

A print is for sale on Ebay Click here to see them for sale on Ebay.

Signed: H. Cook Delin. / M. Vander Gucht sculp.

Notes from the seller:

The anatomy of humane bodies, with figures drawn after the life by some of the best masters in Europe, and curiously engraven in one hundred and fourteen copper plates, illustrated with large explications, containing many new anatomical discoveries, and chirurgical observations, to which is added an introduction explaining the animal oeconomy, with a copious index." Publication: Oxford : Printed at the Theater, for Sam. Smith and Benj. Walford ... London, 1698. The final 9 plates in the Appendix were drawn by Henry Cook and engraved by Michiel van der Gucht. Author: Cowper, William, 1666-1709. Author: Bidloo, Govard, 1649-1713. Artists: Lairesse, Gérard de, 1640-1711 (first 105 plates); and Cook, Henry, 1642-1700 (final 9 plates) Engravers: Blooteling, Abraham, 1640-1690 (first 105 plates); and Gucht, Michiel van der, 1660-1725 (final 9 plates)

1 comment: