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The first were the Tabulae Anatomicae Sex (The Six Anatomical Pictures) printed in Venice in 1538, a compilation of drawings he used in teaching (5).
Vesalius created the drawings for the Tabulae together with a Flemish artist, Jan Stephan van Calcar (1499-1546/50).
Some 22 objects have been catalogued in total, and scholars have learned to discuss them as the 'Iliac tablets' or Tabulae Iliacae.
Particularly influential here has been the work of Kurt Weitzmann in the mid 20th century, who attempted to relate the Tabulae Iliacae to a supposed tradition of book illustration in Hellenistic Alexandria.
Squire, The lliad in a Nutshell: Visualizing Epic on the Tabulae Iliacae, Oxford, 2011).
La Tabula Iliaca di Bovillae, Boville, 1999, and Nina Valenzuela Montenegro, Die Tabulae Iliacae: Mythos und Geschichte im Spiegeleiner Gruppe fruhkaiserzeitlicher Miniaturreliefs, Berlin, 2004, pp.
Legitimacy and law in the Roman world; tabulae in Roman belief and practice.
Tabulae, tablets, were thick wooden boards with a coating of wax set into a rectangular depression on which people wrote; they were expensive and cumbersome but easy to store and difficult to forge, and were used especially for legal documents.
Becoming fashionable around 1540, culminating between 1560 and 1590 and then disappearing towards the end of the sixteenth century, these tabulae are, according to Welti, a sign of the need for systematization, structure, and hieratchization, and a clear rejection of the humanist narrative form.
Otherwise the author who devotes an entire chapter to the rare phenomena of the tabulae cavalierly glosses over this important aspect.
Are these books paired with their own ghosts or are they tabulae rasae?
According to Bredekamp, the legacy of the visual experience of the Kunstkammer is imbued in the images, both visual and verbal, of many natural scientists and philosophers: Kepler's three-dimensional model of the cosmos and his temple for the Tabulae Rudolfianae (1617), Descartes's notion of identity of machines built by artisans and objects created by nature alone, Locke's tabula rasa, Palissy's and Rosicrucian grottos and gardens, Campanella's utopian civitas solis (1613), and Francis Bacon's utopian New Atlantis, to name a few.