top of page

The Fascinating Life and Work of the Great Anatomist Andreas Vesalius

Discover Europe’s oldest surviving operating theatre.

Dated to 1822 it was housed within the attic of an 18th century church.

Born in 1514, Vesalius studied medicine in Paris and Leuven. As professor of anatomy in Padua, he began writing the De Humani Corporis Fabrica at the age of 24. It took him nearly four years to complete what it became a true landmark in the history of medicine. He supervised all aspects of the making of the book and his final publication in 1543 culminated in the realization of a true masterpiece of science and art. At the peak of his fame as anatomist he decided to give up academia and follow a different path. To these days his decision remains a mystery that Marco Catani and Stefano Sandrone have tried to solve in their book Brain Renaissance: from Vesalius to Modern Neuroscience.

Marco Catani is Professor of Neuroanatomy & Psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London. He is the head of the NatBrainLab ( and is actively involved in clinical research of neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric conditions. He has written more than 100 scientific papers and co-authored with Michel Thiebaut de Schotten the Atlas of Human Brain Connections (2012). He has received several awards, including the Norman Geschwind Prize in Behavioral Neurology from the American Academy of Neurology (2012). His work has been featured in the New Scientist, Scientific American Mind, British Medical Journal, and on BBC Radio 4. For his book on Vesalius he has been awarded the 2016 Award for Outstanding Book in the History of the Neurosciences.

Part 3 of the Winter Anatomy Series 2016.

bottom of page