Frederik Ruysch (1744) Epistola anatomica, problematica nona. Amsterdam. Plate X.
Ruysch (1638-1731) was a Dutch anatomist famous for his anatomical preparations — that is, organs and body parts preserved using wax, spirits, and other embalming materials. He kept his specific recipe and technique a secret, since he gained a good deal of commercial success with his preparations. In fact, the Russian tsar Peter the Great eventually bought Ruysch’s entire anatomical collection (or his “cabinet of curiosities”) in 1717.
This illustration depicts his method of wax injection, which he used to preserve and solidify blood vessels. Using this method, he was able to map out the lymphatic system and prove that these vessels have valves, just like blood vessels.