Bernhard Siegfried Albinus1697–1770

The tables of Albinus

Like Boerhaave, and in the same university (Leiden), Albinus was highly regarded for his teaching as well as for his Tabulae. He is shown in one of his tables illustrating the brain and spinal cord. The Tabulae, which were engraved by Jan Wandelaar, are surrounded by scales of measurement. These reflect the methods used to prepare the specimens for representation: nets with a defined grid work of webbing were placed on the structures so that the drawings could be made more accurately. The method was not universally acknowledged, in part because of the artistic license taken by Wandelaar, especially regarding the features of the backgrounds he introduced. Accordingly, it is appropriate to present the portrait of Albinus himself as if it was an aspect of the background.