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1762 LARGE ANATOMIC ENGRAVING FROM FIRST EDITION OF DIDEROT'S ENCYCLOPEDIE - STANDING SKELETON AS ORIGINALLY DEPICTED BY VESALIUS. Original copper plate engraving on heavy paper, 9 1/4 x 15 1/4 inches (8 3/4 x 13 3/4 inches platemark), inconspicuous 1/8 inch waterstain on third lumbar vertebra, light old water stains to corners, not affecting image, very good condition, in custom archival mylar cover; TOGETHER WITH photocopy of letterpress descriptive text (French language) pertaining to the engraving (letters on the anatomical figures are identified in the text). INTRODUCTION TO THE PLATES FOR ANATOMIE: Anatomy, that part of physics that provides knowledge of the human body, should appear with distinction in a Dictionary of the Sciences. It is primarily through the plates that it may be understood. Mr. Tarin, in charge of Anatomy, dedicated himself to finding those authors regarded as the best. His collection representing all of the parts of the human body, it would appear that he could not have done better to satisfy the Public than probing his sources with discernment, and extracting only the most desirable. HISTORY: Encyclopedie, ou dictionnaire raisonne des sciences, des arts et des metiers (Encyclopaedia, or a Systematic Dictionary of the Sciences, Arts, and Crafts) was a general encyclopedia published in France between 1751 and 1772, with later supplements, revised editions, and translations. It had many writers, known as the Encyclopedistes. It was edited by Denis Diderot and, until 1759, co-edited by Jean le Rond d'Alembert. The Encyclopedie is most famous for representing the thought of the Enlightenment. According to Denis Diderot in the article Encyclopedie, the Encyclopedie's aim was to change the way people think. He wanted to incorporate all of the world's knowledge into the Encyclopedie and hoped that the text could disseminate all this information to the public and future generations. The work consisted of 28 volumes, with 71,818 articles and 3,129 illustrations. The first seventeen volumes were published between 1751 and 1765; eleven volumes of plates were published between 1762 and 1772, with a print run of 4,250 copies. The engraving offered here is one of the original plates from this first (folio) edition, engraved (signed in the plate) by BENOIT-LOUIS PREVOST (c. 1735 - 1804), a prominent French engraver. The most well-known of his works is the 1765 frontispiece of the Encyclopedie, depicting Reason and Philosophy catching the sunbeams of Truth, engraved from Cochin's drawing of 1764. The plate is based on a woodcut by ANDREAS VESALIUS (1514 - 1564), author of one of the world's most influential books on human anatomy, De Humani Corporis Fabrica (On the Fabric of the Human Body, 1543). On the day of his graduation he was immediately offered the chair of surgery and anatomy (explicator chirurgiae) at Padua. He also guest-lectured at the University of Bologna and the University of Pisa. Until Vesalius pointed out Galen's substitution of animal for human anatomy, it had gone unnoticed and had long been the basis of studying human anatomy. However, some people still chose to follow Galen and resented Vesalius for calling attention to the difference. Though Vesalius' work was not the first such work based on actual dissection, the production quality, highly detailed and intricate plates, and the likelihood that the artists who produced it were clearly present in person at the dissections made it an instant classic. Pirated editions were available almost immediately, an event Vesalius acknowledged in a printer's note would happen. Vesalius was 28 years old when the first edition of Fabrica was published. ADDITIONAL ENGRAVINGS AVAILABLE: SEARCH "DIDEROT" ON WEBSITE.