A native of Frankfurt, Albinus became a professor of anatomy at the University of Leiden at the age of 24. His books include some of the most beautiful and precise drawings of the human body ever published. It took Albinus and artist-engraver Jan Wandelaer over eight years to complete the 40 plates of this remarkable anatomical atlas with its aesthetic style, scientific accuracy, and fanciful backgrounds.
Bernhard Siegfried Albinus (1697 - 1770) was a German-born Dutch anatomist which probably explains why even in the eighteen century, his drawings were so accurate. This anatomy book is a compilation of work from two books he wrote at that time, Tabulae Sceleti et Musculorum Corporis Humani (Tables of the Human Body) and Tabulae Ossium Humanorum (Table of the Human Bones).
Bernhard Siegfried Albinus (i.e. Weiss) was born in Frankfurt an der Oder on February 24, 1697, the son of the physician Bernhard Albinus (1653-1721). He studied in Leyden with such notable medical men as Herman Boerhaave, Johann Jacob Rau, and Govard Bidloo and received further training in Paris. He returned to Leyden in 1721 to teach surgery and anatomy and soon became one of the most well-known anatomists of the eighteenth century. He was especially famous for his studies of bones and muscles and his attempts at improving the accuracy of anatomical illustration. Among his publications were Historia muscolorum hominis (Leyden, 1734), Icones ossium foetus humani (Leyden, 1737), and new editions of the works of Bartholomeo Eustachio and Andreas Vesalius. Bernhard Siegfried Albinus died in Leyden on September 9, 1770.
Two years later, in 1721, his father died and Albinus, 24 years old, was appointed to succeed him as Professor anatomiae et chirurgicae ordinarius – on the recommendation of Boerhaave. He gave his inaugural address the same year: Oratio, qua in veram, viam, quae ad fabricae corporis humani cognitionem ducit, inquiritur, in which he advocates his views on the teaching of anatomy. Albinus encouraged his students to do their own studies on corpses, and also to study the works of earlier writers.