TOSSIGNANO, Pietro da (PETRUS DE TUSSIGNANO)
A collection of short medical treatises which circulated widely in manuscript, some as early as the 13th century, and was perhaps attributed by the printers to its former owner, Johannes von Kirchheim, a professor of medicine in Vienna about 1460. His name was probably corrupted by the printers to Ketham. The book includes the first printed anatomic illustrations of any kind. Singer’s edition, which includes his translation of the commentary by Karl Sudhoff, was published at Milan, 1924. The first English translation of Ketham’s text by Luke Demaitre, republishing Singer’s translation of Sudhoff’s commentary, was published at Birmingham by The Classics of Medicine Library, 1988. That edition reproduced the woodcuts in color from an original hand-colored copy at Yale’s Cushing/Whitney Medical Library, together with selected illustrations from the Italian 1493 edition, with Singer’s commentary. ISTC no. ik00013000. Digital facsimile from Harvard University Libraries at this link.
Subjects: ANATOMY › Anatomical Illustration, ANATOMY › Medieval Anatomy (6th to 15th Centuries), INFECTIOUS DISEASE › VECTOR-BORNE DISEASES › Flea-Borne Diseases › Plague (transmitted by fleas from rats to humans), THERAPEUTICS › Bloodletting
Fascicolo di medicina. Tr: Sebastianus Manilius. Add: Petrus de Tussignano: Consilium pro peste evitanda. Mundinus: Anatomia (Ed: Petrus Andreas Morsianus).Venice: Johannes & Gregorius de Gregoriis, de Forlivio, 1493 – 1494.
This Italian translation contains an entirely new and more extensive series of woodcuts and additional text. The dramatically improved and more realistic illustrations, which were reproduced in the numerous later editions, are by an unknown artist, about whom there has been much speculation. He was certainly close to the school of Giovanni Bellini. The dissection scene appears in color only in this edition and is one of the first three known examples of color printing, its four colors having been applied by means of stencils. Facsimile edition with extensive commentary by Charles Singer, 2 vols., Milan, 1925.
In the woodcuts prepared for the Italian edition we see the first evidence of the transition from medieval to modern anatomical illustration. In the 1491 edition, the woodcut of the female viscera—like those of the Zodiac Man, Bloodletting Man, Wound-Man, etc.—was derived from the traditional non-representational squatting figure found in medieval medical manuscripts. However, the illustrations for the Italian edition "included an entirely redesigned figure showing female anatomy. . . . The scholastic figure from 1491 must have irritated the eyes of the artistic Venetians to such a degree that they immediately abandoned it. After this the female figure actually sits in an armchair, so that the traditional [squatting] position corresponds to a real situation" (Herrlinger, History of Anatomical Illustration, 66). ISTC no. ik00017000. Digital facsimile from Biblioteca Palatina, Parma (BEIC) at this link.
The work was reprinted with a volume of commentary: Fasiculo de Medicina in Volgare, Venezia, Giovanni e Gregorio De Gregori, 1494. Vol. I: Facsimile dell'esemplare conservato presso la Biblioteca del Centro per la storia dell'Università di Padova. Vol. 2: Tiziana Pesenti, Il "Fasciculus medicinae" ovvero le metamorfosi del libro umanistico. (Treviso: Antilia, 2001).
Subjects: ANATOMY › Anatomical Illustration, ANATOMY › Medieval Anatomy (6th to 15th Centuries), ART & Medicine & Biology, INFECTIOUS DISEASE › VECTOR-BORNE DISEASES › Flea-Borne Diseases › Plague (transmitted by fleas from rats to humans)