John Lizars, Pl. 1 General View of the Skeleton, Anatomical Plates of the Human Body, first edition, 1822–26, hand-colored engraving by William Home Lizars

Laura Oppenheimer

John Lizars, Pl. 1 General View of the SkeletonAnatomical Plates of the Human Body, first edition, 1822–26, hand-colored engraving by William Home Lizars

Acquire a rare hand-colored engraving Plate 1, General view of the Skeleton, from the superb anatomical atlas, Anatomical Plates of the Human Body (1822–26) by John Lizars, available this week only at a substantial discount. For the engravings, John Lizars called upon his brother William Home Lizars, who is well-known for engraving the first ten plates of John James Audubon's Birds of America that were produced about the same time W. H. Lizars engraved the plates for this folio.

"Although it contains no new discoveries, this superb atlas is certainly one of the most elegant works of the nineteenth century. [John] Lizars was a pupil of John Bell and served as a naval surgeon before becoming professor of surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh. The 101 hand-colored engravings in this folio were drawn by the author and his brother, William Home Lizars (1788-1859), from the author's dissections." 

Heirs of Hippocrates: The Development of Medicine in a Catalogue of Historic Books, Richard Elmas, Compiler and Editor, University of Iowa Press, 1990. 

Hand-colored engraving in pristine condition. Engraved, printed, and colored by William Home Lizars in Edinburgh; folio size, 18 x 10.875 inches. 

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Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, brothers John Lizars (baptized 1791– died 1860) and William Home Lizars (1788–1859) were the sons of Daniel Lizars, a Scottish engraver and the head of a talented family. The eldest son, William Home Lizars, apprenticed to his father in 1802. However, at that same time his father also enrolled him as a student of the painter John Graham, Master of the Trustees' Academy in Edinburgh. As a young artist, W. H. Lizars exhibited at the Royal Academy, attracting great interest in his work. That same year, 1812, his father passed away, and he was compelled to take on the family business of engraving and copper-plate printing. In 1826, the year he completed Anatomical Plates of the Human Body, W. H. Lizars began to produce the very first plates for John James Audubon's Birds of America.

For further information or to purchase, please call the gallery at 312-642-5300.

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