Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research®

, Volume 472, Issue 3, pp 812–819 | Cite as

Frank H. Netter MD and a Brief History of Medical Illustration

  • Francine Mary Netter
  • Gary E. Friedlaender
Art in Science


In the introduction to his seminal volume, Atlas of Human Anatomy [7], Frank Netter wrote lightheartedly that he wondered what the truly outstanding and renowned anatomists from history—men like Vesalius, Leonardo da Vinci, William Hunter, and Henry Gray—might have said about his atlas. Through the centuries, these and other major contributors to the advancement of science have skillfully illustrated their observations. “Anatomy of course does not change,” Netter wrote in the Introduction to Atlas, “but our understanding of anatomy and its clinical significance does change as do anatomical terminology and nomenclature” [7].

Incremental advances in knowledge have been inextricably linked through time with improvements in communication capabilities (in this case print media), forming a triangulation, from science, to artist, to printer. This article traces medical illustration from Leonardo da Vinci to Frank Netter, giving a brief introduction to these men, and describing...


Medical Illustration Antiquarian Society Grand Master Armour Laboratory Hunterian Museum 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© The Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons® 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.RaleighUSA
  2. 2.Yale University School of MedicineNew HavenUSA

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