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[Perspectives] Mortal remains, immortal work

Padua was a Mecca for art and anatomy students in the 16th century. In the 1530s Andreas Vesalius performed revolutionary dissections at its university, which shifted the focus of anatomy away from written authority to the body. The young Belgian professor encouraged students to “see for themselves” (the original meaning of autopsy), using their eyes, rather than their mind’s eye conditioned by Galenic theory. “Seeing is believing” was his cardinal lesson, “believe what you see, don’t see what you believe”.