The King Abdul Aziz Public Library in Saudi Arabia has acquired a medical manuscript for the first book in the world that depicts, draws, and dissects the structure of the human body from the inside.
It dates back more than 700 years. The manuscript, titled “Anatomy of the Human Body”, is attributed to Doctor Mansour Al-Kashmiri.
The manuscript consists of 5 articles and an epilogue, written on 26 leaves in Persian and Arabic, in addition to 6 drawings of muscles, bones, and blood vessels. It also contains ancient anatomical illustrations drawn with inks of different colors illustrating the human body.
The drawings show craftsmanship and accuracy in investing lines and colors and their fluidity, and benefiting from the presence of the art of Islamic miniatures (decorated pictures), which was common at the time of the book’s writing, without using engineering tools other than pens.
The drawings came as an expressive art that touches the movement of the human body from the inside, as it shows the clear artistic effort in placing the lines and drawings.
The book was printed for the first time in Dehli (Old Delhi, India) in 1848 under the title: “Mansuri’s Anatomy” and is considered the author’s most famous work.