JF Ptak Science Books Quick Post [Part of the Series on Blank, Empty and Missing Things]
What is mostly missing in this fantastic illustration from Tratado de vendages.... (Madrid, 1785) are people. These multi-image plates of various dressings usually did not address people directly, and so looking at them out of context gives them a very heavy taste of the found-absurd.
For the time, of course, the book was an essential text on treating wounds, especially military ones. The author, Francisco Vila Canivell was born in 1721 in Barcelona. By 1749 at only 28 years old, he had been educated in France and received his medical education back in Spain at the Universtiy of Cervera, had fought in the Italian campaign (as a surgeon), became Surgeon Major of the regiment of Astiurias, and then on to keep charge of the Library of the Royal College of Surgeons in Cadiz. He was professor of osteology (and bandages!), as well as an obstetrician, ophthalmologist and midwife, until 1769 when he became Sugeon Major of the Army, and then proceeded on to other more esteemed positons, dying in 1797.