The Fabricated Body: History of Anatomy

General Works / Ouvrages généraux

Bechtel, William. Discovering Cell Mechanisms: the Creation of Modern Cell Biology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006

Bubb, Claire. Dissection in Classical Antiquity: A Social and Medical History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2022.

Cazort, Mimi. The Ingenious Machine of Nature: Four Centuries of Art and Anatomy. Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada, 1996

Efron, John M. ‘Images of the Jewish Body: Three Medical Views from the Jewish Enlightenment.’ Bulletin of the History of Medicine 69 (1995), 349–66

Ghosh, Sanjib Kumar. Human cadaveric dissection: a historical account from ancient Greece to the modern era. Anatomy & Cell Biology 48.3 (2015): 153-69

Gilman, Sander L. Difference and Pathology: Stereotypes of Sexuality, Race, and Madness. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1985

Hopwood, N. ‘Artist Versus Anatomist, Models against Dissection: Paul Zeiller of Munich and the Revolution of 1848.’ Medical History 51 (2007), 279-308

 Laqueur, Thomas. Making Sex: Body and Gender from the Greeks to Freud. Cam­bridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1990

Lock, Margaret M. Twice Dead: Organ Transplants and the Reinvention of Death. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002 [compares Japan to North America]

MacDonald, Helen. Human Remains: Dissections and Its Histories. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2005.

McGrath, Roberta. Seeing Her Sex: Medical Archives and the Female Body. Manchester; New York: Manchester University Press and Palgrave, 2002

Parnes, Ohad ‘The Envisioning of Cells.’ Science in Context 13 (2000), 71-92

Persaud, T.V.N. A History of Anatomy in the Post-Vesalian Era. Springfield, Ill.: Charles C. Thomas, 1997

Richmond, Marsha L. ‘T.H. Huxley's Criticism of German Cell Theory: an Epigenetic and Physiological Interpretation of Cell Structure.’ Journal of the History of Biology 33 (2000), 247-89

Riggs, G. ‘What Should We Do about Eduard Pernkopf's Atlas?’ Academic Medicine 73 (1999), 380-86

Roberts, K.B., and J.D.W. Tomlinson. The Fabric of the Body: European Traditions of Anatomical Illustration. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992

Schiebinger, Londa. Nature’s Body: Gender in the Making of Modern Science. 2nd ed. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutger’s University Press, 2004

Stafford, Barbara Maria. Body Criticism: Imaging the Unseen in Enlightenment Art and Medicine. Cambridge, Mass., and London: MIT Press, 1991

Stern, Megan. ‘Dystopian Anxieties versus Utopian Ideals: Medicine from Frankenstein to the Visible Human Project and Body Worlds.’ Science and Culture 15 (2006), 61-84


On Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and the Early Modern Period

Cavanagh, G.S. Terence. The Panorama of Vesalius: A ‘Lost’ Design from Titian’s Studio. Athens, Ga: Sacrum Press, 1996; also Medical History 27 (1983), 77–9

Carlino, A. ‘Paper Bodies: A Catalogue of Anatomical Fugitive Sheets, 1538-1687.’ Medical History Supplement 19 (1999), 1-352.

Cunningham, Andrew. The Anatomical Renaissance: The Resurrection of the Anatomi­cal Projects of the Ancients. Aldershot: Ashgate, 1997

   ‘The End of the Sacred Ritual of Anatomy.’ Canadian Bulletin of Medical History 18 (2001), 187-204

Gordon, Andrew H., and Calvin W. Schwabe. The Quick and the Dead: Biomedical Theory in Ancient Egypt. Egyptological memoirs. Leiden; Boston: Brill: Styx, 2004

Herrlinger, Robert. History of Medical Illustration from Antiquity to 1600. Trans. Graham Fulton-Smith. Munich: Editions Medicina Rara and Heinz Moos Verlagsgesellschaft, 1970

O’Malley, C.D., and J.B. de C.M. Saunders. Leonardo da Vinci on the Human Body. New York: Schuman, 1952

Park, Katharine. Secrets of Women: Gender, Generation, and the Origins of Human Dissection. New York, Cambridge, Mass.: Zone Books, 2006

Persaud, T.V.N. Early History of Human Anatomy: From Antiquity to the Beginning of the Modern Era. Springfield, Ill.: Charles C. Thomas, 1984

Richardson W.F., and J.B. Carman. ‘On Translating Vesalius.’ Medical History 38 (1994), 281–302

Scheid, Volker. Promoting free flow in the networks: Reimagining the body in early modern Suzhou [China].  History of Science. 56.2 (2018): 131-67. 

Schultz, Bernard. Art and Anatomy in Renaissance Italy. Ann Arbor, Mich.: UMI Research Press, 1985

Sherrington, Charles. The Endeavour of John Fernel. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1946.

Von Staden, Heinrich. Herophilus: The Art of Medicine in Early Alexandria: Edition, Translation, Essays. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989

---. ‘The Discovery of the Body: Human Dissection and Its Cultural Contexts in Ancient Greece. Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine 65 (1992), 223-41


Britain / Iles Britanniques

Armstrong, David. Political Anatomy of the Body: Medical Knowledge in Britain in the Twentieth Century. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1983

Barzun, Jacques, ed. Burke and Hare: The Resurrection Men. Metuchen, N.J.: Scare­crow Press and New York Academy of Medicine, 1974

Burrell, S. and G. Gill. ‘The Liverpool Cholera Epidemic of 1832 and Anatomical Dissection--Medical Mistrust and Civil Unrest.’ Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences 60 (2005), 478-98

Dewhurst, Kenneth. ‘Locke and Sydenham on the Teaching of Anatomy.’ Medi­cal History 2 (1958), 1–12

Fowler, Louise, and Natasha Powers. Doctors, dissection and resurrection men: excavations in the 19th-century burial ground of the London Hospital, 2006. London: Museum of London Archaeology, 2012.

Jacyna, L. S. ‘"A Host of Experienced Microscopists": the Establishment of Histology in Nineteenth-Century Edinburgh.’ Bulletin of the History of Medicine 75 (2001), 225-53

   ‘More Fibre: the Negotiation of Microscopic Facts in Victorian Britain.’ Journal of the  History of Biology 36 (2003), 39-85

Patrizio, Andrew, and Dawn Kemp. Anatomy Acts: How We Come to Know Ourselves. Edinburgh: Birlinn, 2006

Richardson, Ruth. Death, Dissection, and the Destitute. 2nd ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000



Leblond, Sylvio. ‘Anatomistes et résurrectionistes au Canada, et plus particulièrement dans la province de Québec.’ Canadian Medical Association Journal 95 (1966), 1193–7, 1247–51

MacGillivray, Royce. ‘Body Snatching in Ontario.’ Canadian Bulletin of Medical History 5 (1988), 51–60

Robinson, Clayton L.N. J.C. Boileau Grant: Anatomist Extraordinary. Canadian Medical Lives Series, no. 14. Toronto: Hannah Institute and Dundurn Press, 1993

Shepherd, Francis J. Reminiscences of Student Days and Dissecting Room. Montreal: The Author, 1919



Gourevitch, Danielle. Vésale et le bémol de Daremberg. Histoire des Sciences Médicales 48.4 (2014): 523-36.

Guivarc’h, Marcel. Lieux de dissections et morgues dans Paris, de 1200 à nos jours. Histoire des Sciences Médicales 36.4. (2002): 431-50.

Leblond, Sylvio. Anatomistes et résurrectionnistes en France. Canadian Medical Association Journal 99.8 (1968): 368-70.

Mazliak, Paul. Jean Fernel, premier physiologiste de la Renaissance. Paris Hermann, 2016.

Mercier, Louis Sébastien. Tableau de Paris, 1782-83, vol. 8, lieu et éditeur non-identifié.

Mercier, Louis Sebastien. The Picture of Paris before and after the Revolution, 1788. Trans. Wilfrid and Emilie Jackson (London: Routledge, 1929).

Skaarup, Björn Okholm. Anatomy and anatomists in early modern Spain. London: Routledge, 2016.

Weiner, Dora B. The citizen-patient in revolutionary and imperial Paris. Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press. 1993.


United States / Etats Unis

Garment, A., S. Lederer, N. Rogers, L. Boult. ‘Let the Dead Teach the Living: the Rise of Body Bequeathal in 20th-Century America.’ Academic Medicine 82 (2007), 1000-5

Lederer, Susan E. Flesh and Blood: Organ Transplantation and Blood Transfusion in 20th Century America. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008

Pauly, John E. The American Association of Anatomists, 1888-1987: Essays on the History of Anatomy in America. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins, 1987

Sappol, Michael. A Traffic of Dead Bodies: Anatomy and Embodied Social Identity in Nineteenth-Century America. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2002

Warner, J. H., and L. J. Rizzolo. ‘Anatomical Instruction and Training for Professionalism from the 19th to the 21st Centuries.’ Clinical Anatomy 19 (2006), 403-14

Warner, John Harley and James Edmonson. Dissection: Photographs of a Rite of Passage in American Medicine, 1880 – 1930. New York: Basic Books, 2009



To Look for on the Web

Several online displays of anatomical works related to forensic medicine, artistic endeavour, and imagination can be found at the website of the National Library of Medicine (U.S.). History of Medicine Division. Catalogues of these exhibitions are also available in print.