Learn more about history of medical illustration

By visualmedics Illustration & Infographics2 years ago26 Comments
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Illustration & Infographics

Precise lines and rich, accurate details make medical illustration extremely useful in learning about the human body.

When we turn on the computer to research a subject, we hardly stop to think how the graphic representation of the subject has evolved over time or the path it has taken to get there.

Medical illustration has evolved along with medicine itself, but its progress has been impaired at times by religious and ethical concerns. For example, dissection of corpses was not permitted in medieval medical schools. 

In Renaissance Italy, renowned artist Leonardo da Vinci also worked in the area of medicine, and by connecting with physicians and anatomists learned how to better represent the human body in his sculptures and paintings.

Da Vinci made more than 1200 anatomic drawings that still serve as inspiration for medical illustrators to this day. Around this time, materials such as stone (for lithographs in different gradations) and metal feathers were discovered, which facilitated the execution and modernization of drawings.

The press contribution to medical illustration

With the advent of books and the press, there was a scientific revolution in anatomy. Corpses were dissected to study the human body structures, inspiring anatomists to write their own texts with illustrations based on their work. Press development in Brazil started in 1808, with metal and wood-engraved works.

There are universities in Europe and the USA that offer scientific illustration courses, where it is possible to become specialized in medical illustration. Professionals in the field are highly valued and need to have excellent knowledge of anatomy and physiology, as well as constantly carrying out research to enhance their work. Exist 2 main associations supporting the illustrators in their careers, AMI for US professionals, AEIMS for European professionals.  

Medical illustration has also benefit from technological advances. Images are becoming increasingly more realistic, which in turn means they are more accurate for diagnoses and procedures, benefitting both doctors and patients.

We rely on extremely qualified medical illustration professionals who studied and graduated either in medical illustration or biomedical communication, and offer services that respond to the most meticulous of demands from physicians. Our service extends to areas such as Europe, US and Latin America. 

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