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Journal of Medical Humanities

, Volume 30, Issue 3, pp 191–200 | Cite as

Christopher Wren, Thomas Willis and the Depiction of the Brain and Nerves

  • Allister Neher
Article

Abstract

This paper is about Christopher Wren’s engravings for Thomas Willis’ The Anatomy of the Brain and Nerves of 1664. It is a study in the intersection of medicine and art in 17th century Britain. Willis, an eminent English physician and anatomist, was a major figure in the development of modern neurology, and The Anatomy of the Brain and Nerves was his most famous and influential book. Wren was Willis’ assistant and medical artist. I discuss the visual strategies employed by Wren to present their research and frame it as genuine knowledge.

Keywords

Thomas Willis Christopher Wren Anatomy Visual arts Seventeenth century 

Notes

Acknowledgement

I would like to thank Pamela Miller, Christopher Lyons, Lily Szczygiel and Diane Philip of the Osler Library of the History of Medicine of McGill University for their good will, patience and generosity. I have benefited greatly from their expertise and knowledge of their library’s impressive collections.

References

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Humanities DepartmentDawson CollegeMontrealCanada

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