In his Osteographia, William Cheselden set out to design not only the most accurate, but also the most beautiful medical atlas yet available. He worked closely with his artists, Gerard Vandergucht and Jacob Schijnvoet, choosing poses, making corrections and adding his own accents, where appropriate. He was involved at every stage of production, sometimes working directly upon the copper plates. The initial drawings for the project were scrapped when he struck upon the idea of having Vandergucht and Schijnvoet work from a camera obscura, allowing them to directly trace a projected image. Though Osteographia was ultimately a commercial failure, selling only 97 of the 300 printed copies, it is now regarded as a major landmark in anatomical illustration, ranking among the most beautiful books ever produced.
(Image courtesy of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.)