esalius’ influences spanned from the Hippocratics to the 2nd-century Greek physician Galen and beyond, but he was also a product of the rebirth of intellectual culture in the mid-16th century. Like Leonardo da Vinci or Nicolaus Copernicus, Vesalius thrived in the climate of great intellectual and scientific change that marked the Renaissance. Not everyone approved of the upheaval, as evidenced by the detractors of Vesalius’ former teachers, yet Vesalius won the favor of key authorities and was appointed as a physician to Charles V, the powerful leader of the Holy Roman Empire.

Portrait of Andreas Vesalius

Read on to learn how these events helped shape Vesalius and his momentous work.