In 17th-century Leiden the theatrum anatomicum was a venue not to be missed. But what was the thinking behind this theatre, established in 1594, and its collection of rarities? Who were the scholars who worked there and what were their objectives? This study, that straddles the fields of science and cultural history, goes in search of the Leiden anatomists of the Dutch Golden Age, and their quest for evidence of the finger of God.
Huisman investigates both anatomical practice and the individuals involved with the aim to give insight into the philosophical and metaphysical reflections to which the study of the human body gave rise.
Tim Huisman is curator of art and history at the Museum Boerhaave, the Dutch national museum for the history of science and medicine.
Paperback, 2009, 224 pp., 60 ill.