JF Ptak Science Books Post 1473
One of the great thinkers in the history of gynecology was Jean Louis Baudeloque, whose 1781 book L'Art des Accouchemens was perhaps one of the most significant works in the history of obstetrics. This work was important not only for its great clarity and ease of explantion and control of its subject, but also for the exceptional illustrations. I find them incredible not only for their spectacular detail but also for their control of blank space, a feat not easily accomplished...and I think a somewhat courageous approach to illustration during this era.
For example, in the accompanying engravings (all of which are second generation and so are not nearly as sharp as the originals), we are left with a detailed image of only what was necessary for the explanation in the text, a terribly modern approach to illustration and clarity, so much so that it seems almost impossible that the image was made more than 230 years ago.
Obviously the representation and the subject matter give away the age of the image, but certainly not the design or placement.
Note: It should also be pointed out that chief among Baudeloque's contributions was his teaching career, during which he would instruct upwards of 150 pupils per year (mainly at the Ecole de Sante) in clear and precise terms on his approach to obstetrics, not the least of which was in the use of instruments such as the foreceps and pelvimeter, a distribution of a very useful information base which seemed to have spread exponentially as his students went out into the midwifery field.