<< YCBA Home Yale Center for British Art Yale Center for British Art << YCBA Home

YCBA Collections Search

Creator:
Geminus, Thomas, -1562, editor, engraver.
Title:
Compendiosa totius anatomie delineatio aere exarata / per Thomam Geminum.
Published/Created:
Londini : In officina Ioanni Herfordie, anno Domini, 1545, mense Octobri.
Physical Description:
[90] pages, [41] leaves of plates (1 folded) : illustrations ; 41 cm (folio)
Holdings:
Rare Books and Manuscripts
Folio A 2015 29 Copy 1
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Accessible by request in the Study Room [Request]
Note: As a COVID-19 precaution, the Study Room is closed until further notice.


Rare Books and Manuscripts
Folio A 2015 29 Copy 2
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Accessible by request in the Study Room [Request]
Note: As a COVID-19 precaution, the Study Room is closed until further notice.

Copyright Status:
Copyright Information
Classification:
Books
Notes:
A slightly abridged version of Vesalius's Epitome illustrated with figures from both the Fabrica and the Epitome re-engraved in copperplate, Thomas Geminus's Compendiosa introduced Vesalian anatomy to England. The Compendiosa filled an important need by providing a summary view of Vesalius's anatomical discoveries more complete than the Epitome, less bulky and expensive than the Fabrica, and illustrated -- via the new medium of copperplate engraving -- with a clarity of line impossible even for the highly skilled Venetian wood engravers employed by Vesalius. However, Geminus' Compendiosa was not authorized by Vesalius, who complained about it bitterly in his China-root epistle, so that even though Geminus declared Vesalius's authorship in the headline on leaf A1, the Compendiosa has always been considered the first of the many plagiarisms of Vesalius's anatomical works.
"Geminus, whose family name was Lambert or Lambrit, emigrated to England about 1540, where he practiced the arts of engraving, printing and instrument making, and also served (despite his lack of formal training) as royal physician to Henry VIII. He introduced to the English the use of copperplate engraving for book illustration, a technique he probably brought with him from his native Belgium. A few months before the publication of the Compendiosa, Geminus produced the first engraved book illustrations published in England: two small copperplates, also copied from Vesalius, made for Thomas Raynalde's 1545 revision of The Byrth of Mankynde. The Compendiosa, with its forty copperplates, was the second English book illustrated with copperplates, and the first to contain an engraved title-page, which has been called the first engraving of any artistic importance produced in England."--J. Norman, 2006.
The [41] plates comprise title page, 1 folded plate of two nude figures and 39 single plates.
Printer's statement from colophon.
Title page is engraved.
Engravings by Geminus after the woodcuts in Vesalius' De humani corporis fabrica, 1543; with altered texts of Vesalius' De humani corporis fabrica librorum epitome and of the descriptions accompanying the original illustrations. Cf. C.D. O'Malley. Andreas Vesalius of Brussels, 1964.
Signatures: [fleuron] A⁶ B⁶ (i.e. B5 with 4 signed "B iiii v") C⁵ D⁶ E⁶ F⁶ G⁶ H³.
Choulant-Frank, p. 193
Cushing VI.C.-2
Garrison-Morton (5th ed.), 376.1
Norman, 886
STC (2nd ed.), 11714
Luborsky & Ingram. Engl. illustrated books, 1536-1603, 11714
BAC: British Art Center copy 1 bound in contemporary blind-stamped vellum. With numerous marginal notes, in a contemporary hand. Autograph: Henricus Ludovicus Moll...
BAC: British Art Center copy 2 lacks binding.
Subject Terms:
Human anatomy -- Early works to 1800.
Form/Genre:
Early works.
Engravings -- 1545.
Contributors:
Abridgement of (work) Vesalius, Andreas, 1514-1564. Epitome.
Abridgement of (work) Vesalius, Andreas, 1514-1564. De humani corporis fabrica.
Herford, John, -1548?, printer.
Export:
XML
If you have information about this object that may be of assistance please contact us.