First Medical Illustrations in America

Rymsdyk anatomy

Rymsdyk fetus

In my earlier post on the computer graphic artist, Cvetomir Georgiev, I showed you the 3D rendition he made of Jan van Rymsdyk’s The Anatomy of a Gravid Uterus. Rymsdyk was a Dutch born medical illustrator working in London. The Anatomy of a Gravid Uterus was the first notable illustration of his career. But, he also had another great accomplishment. Rymsdyk was commissioned to create a series of life-size anatomy paintings as teaching aides at a medical school in colonial Philadelphia. These paintings turned out to be the first medical illustrations ever commissioned for use in America. They are still on exhibit at the library of the Pennsylvania Hospital, America’s first hospital.