The Miscellanea Curiosa, sive Ephemeridum Medico-Physicarum Germanicarum, the learned periodical published in different German cities under the aegis of the Academia Leopoldina Naturae Curiosorum, contained many cases of an anatomical nature. The Miscellanea Curiosa in its first years actively participated in the development of anatomia practica, the anatomical practice of observing the signs of diseases in cadavers and connecting them to what had been observed at the bedside. The illustrations that accompanied the post-mortem reports published in the Miscellanea Curiosa allow one to assess the evolution of the pathological illustration itself. This article is thus intended to serve as a contribution to the rediscovery of the origins of this visual genre. A learned journal like the Miscellanea Curiosa, which appeared regularly, provided an ideal venue for the process of accumulating, cross-referencing and – in the final analysis – selecting, serializing and systematizing the knowledge that would form the foundations of modern pathology, by providing a wealth of evidence and images observed at the dissection table.
Martin Kemp, “ ‘The mark of truth’: Looking and Learning in some Anatomical Illustrations from the Renaissance and Eighteenth Century,” in Medicine and the Five Senses, edited by William F. Bynum, Roy Porter (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005), pp. 85–121; William Louis Strauss jr. and Owsei Temkin, “Vesalius and the Problem of Variability,” Bulletin of the History of Medicine, 1943, 14:609–633; Nancy Siraisi, “Vesalius and Human Diversity in ‘De humani corporis fabrica’,” Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, 1994, 57:60–88. On the complex layers of meaning in the early modern anatomical imagery, David L. Martin, Curious Visions of Modernity (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press 2011).