We owe a great debt to Jean Marc Bourgery (1797–1849) for his Atlas of Anatomy, which was not only a massive event in medical history, but also remains one of the most comprehensive and beautifully illustrated anatomical treatises ever published in any language. In 1830, having received his doctorate in medicine three years prior, Bourgery began work on his magnificent atlas in cooperation with illustrator Nicolas Henri Jacob (1782–1871). The first volumes were published the following year, but completion of the treatise required nearly two decades of dedication.
Bourgery’s treatise consisted of eight volumes and covers descriptive anatomy, surgical anatomy and techniques, general anatomy and embryology, and microscopic anatomy. Jacob’s spectacular hand-colored, life-size lithographs are remarkable for their clarity, color, and aesthetic appeal, reflecting a combination of direct laboratory observation and illustrative research; the images are to this day unsurpassed in anatomical illustration. This abridged version shows the complete plates of volumes 1-6 and a selection of volume 7.
"In their minute, painstaking details one senses the awe the body once commanded when it was a new, uncharted world begging for exploration."
- I-D MAGAZINE, London