Osteographia, Or The Anatomy Of The Bones. By William Cheselden Surgeon To Her Majesty; F.R.S. Surgeon To St. Thomas's Hospital, And Member Of The Royal Academy Of Surgery At Paris.
RA Collection: Book
The work is dedicated by the author to the Queen (Caroline).
On the Vanderguchts see H. A. Hammelmann and T.S. R. Boase, Book illustrators in eighteenth-century England (1975), p. 86-96; H. A. Hammelmann, 'A family of book illustrators', in Times Literary Supplement (26 July 1957). On Schijnvoet see W. R. Lefanu, 'The anatomical drawings by Jacobus Schijnvoet', in Oud Holland, 1960, p. 54-8.
The book has two sets of 56 plates or full-page illustrations - 'one set unlettered to shew them in their full beauty, and one set lettered for explanations' (chap. viii). These include skeletal versions of the Medici Venus and Apollo Belvedere (pl. 34, 35) and a Praying Skeleton (pl. 36). To help with the representing of bones in two-dimensional format Cheselden used a camera obscura - 'my engravers ... knew too well the difficulties of representing irregular lines, perspective, and proportion, to despise such assistance' - and he shows this piece of equipment in the title-page vignette, pointing at an inverted skeleton being arranged on a tripod by his pupil, John Belchier.
In November 1733 Cheselden's work was reviewed by Belchier in no. 430 of the Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society; in 1735 it was attacked by John Douglas in a pamphlet entitled Animadversions on a late pompous book, intituled, Osteographia.
The preparatory drawings for the plates may be seen at the Royal Academy (presented by Belchier).
Manuals - Great Britain - 18th century
Pictorial works - Great Britain - 18th century
Skeleton of a monkey sitting on the stump of a tree, c.1730-32
Three skeletons in attitudes copied from Vesalius, c.1730-32
W. Cheselden, Osteographia, or the anatomy of the Bones, 1733, 'The Introduction'
Letterpress and etching
Gerard van der Gucht
Galen contemplating the skeleton of a robber, c.1730-33
Etching and engraving
Attributed to Jacob Schijnvoet
Cheselden's camera obscura
Etching and engraving