Vogtherr, Heinrich: Anathomia oder abconterfittung eines Mans leib, wie er inwendig gestaltetist

The first separately issued anatomical broadsides with movable parts, Strasbourg, Jacob Frohlich, 1544. Extremely rare. The first separately-issued anatomical broadsides known to have been published, as issued, by Heinrich Vogtherr. These broadsides (sometimes called fugitive sheets), shown here in a pair of complementary figures for male and female subjects, represent a precious survival of this critical form of 16th century medical instruction and practice. Such sheets were employed for the transient instruction of medical students interested in anatomy, and their survival rate is accordingly extremely low; individual printings rarely exist in more than a few examples. The present woodcuts (used for the first time by Vogtherr in 1538-9) are remarkable among early 16th century printed medical illustrations for being the first to employ an entirely novel pedagogical device: the male and female anatomies are presented here as a series of moveable cut-out flaps arranged in three dimensions, which can be lifted to reveal their position within the living human body. “Lifting the covering of the torso, the viewer is able to penetrate the surface of both the paper and the body, and to study the organs as parts of an interdependent whole…The figures thus offer a tactile and interactive version of what is laid out schematically on the support sheets.” (Mandabach, Prints and the Pursuit of Knowledge)