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William Cheselden was an English surgeon and teacher of anatomy and surgery, who was influential in establishing surgery as a scientific medical profession. Via the medical missionary Benjamin Hobson, his work also helped revolutionize medical practices in China and Japan in the 19th century.
In 1733 he published Osteographia or the Anatomy of Bones, the first full and accurate description of the anatomy of the human skeletal system.
See it here (click):
There is plate 36 (Table XXXVI) on three pages with each has it’s numbers:
- Table XXXVI – 0125, one with the text “THE fide view of the fceleton…”
- Table XXXVI – 0126, the other is skeleton with characters
- Table XXXVI – 0202, the third and last one is without characters
THE fide view of the fceleton of a very robust man, put into this attitude to represent the figure in a larger fcale.
A The bones of the cranium.
B The bones of the face.
C The jaws.
D The spinal processes of a vertebræ of the neck.
F F Os humeri.
G G Radius & ulna.
H The bones of the hand.
I The ribs.
K The cartilages of the sternum.
L The spinal processes of the vertebræ of the loins.
M M Os innominatum.
N Os facrum.
O Os femoris.
Q Tibia and fibula.
R The bones of the feet.
The inventiveness seen in the vignettes is likewise found in the decorated initials and the plates of entire human skeletons. Inspired by the meditative skeletons of Vesalius, Cheselden offers a lateral view of a skeleton kneeling in prayer (Tab. XXXVI), the pose chosen in order “to represent the figure in a larger scale.” In the Anatomy of the Human Body of 1740, the figure has been adapted for Tab. X and is shown with his arms tied behind his back. (-public domain review)
Long after he died, a band named Cirith Ungol, it gives the logo “Praying Skeleton” around 1977 until now. See the logos here in this site.
- William Cheselden
- National Library of Medicine
- Historical Anatomies Home on the Web, bio anté (French)
- The Public Domain Reviews
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