Four Atlases of Myology by Van Horne and Sagemolen Multidisciplinary Approach to Unpublished Drawings from the Dutch Golden Age

Quatre atlas de myologie inédits du siècle d'or néerlandais


Jean-François Vincent
Université Paris Cité
Isabelle Bonnard
Bibliothèque nationale de France


In June 2016, four large atlases comprising two hundred and fifty anatomical drawings which were made around 1654-1660 in Leiden (Netherlands) were identified at the Bibliothèque interuniversitaire de santé. 

Made by the painter Marten Sagemolen (ca. 1620-1669) under the direction of the anatomist Johannes van Horne (1621-1670), they systematically describe the muscles of man. This extensive collection had been lost since the mid-18th century.

The albums entered the collections of the École de santé in 1796, along with the magnificent drawings by the painter Gerard de Lairesse (1641-1711) for the anatomy of Govard Bidloo (1649-1713), and they have remained in the medical library at 12, rue de l'École-de-médecine, today called BIU Santé médecine, which now belongs to Université Paris Cité. Purchased as an anonymous lot accompanying Lairesse's masterpiece, the albums had not been successfully examined until 2016.

The great rarity of this collection and the surprise of its identification aroused curiosity. After initial documentation and digitisation work by the BIU Santé's Health History Department, a restoration and study project was carried out with the Bibliothèque nationale de France and the Centre de recherche et de restauration des musées de France. It was followed by an international conference on 18 and 19 June 2021, of which this volume provides the proceedings, and an exhibition of the atlases at the Musée d'histoire de la médecine d'Université Paris Cité, from 15 November 2021 to Saturday 15 January 2022.


Johannes Van Horne, Martinus Saeghmolen, Human anatomy, Medical Illustration, Art & Medecine, XVIIth century



Quatre atlas de myologie inédits du siècle d'or néerlandais
Published on 19 September 2022



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ISBN 978-2-7442-0205-6 (Print)
ISBN 978-2-7442-0206-3 (PDF)