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Presentation on Andreas Vesalius

  • 21 Jan 2015
  • 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
  • Washington DC

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Celebrate Andreas Vesalius!



"Andreas Vesalius and the Fabric of the Human Body"




KU Leuven will be represented by 

Honorary Ambassador Johan Swinnen, 

Chair of the International Committee, Academic Senate of the KU Leuven



Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564) was the first anatomist in history to produce an accurate description of the human body. Relying only on the empirical knowledge gained from the dissection of human cadavers, he overturned all medical knowledge about the body. His epoch making book De Humani Corporis Fabrica (1543), published when he was only 28 years old, revolutionized the world of medicine, and even knowledge in general. But Vesalius was much more than a gifted anatomist. Well educated in the humanist circles of Leuven and Paris, he created a new image of the body. To Vesalius the human body was an ingenious structure that inspired awe and admiration. The famous illustrations of the Fabrica were modeled on the aesthetic canon of Greek sculpture. For centuries, these images determined the way the body was perceived. The lecture will focus on the legacy of Vesalius the humanist and his enduring relevance for the 21st century.


Geert Vanpaemel


Professor for history of science at KU Leuven. Curator of the exhibition Vesalius. Imagining the Body at M-Museum Leuven (Oct 1 2014 – Jan 18 2015)


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