Carlo Ruini

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From Carlo Ruini's Anatomia del Cavallo. (Venice, 1618).

Carlo Ruini (1530–1598) was one of the most noted anatomists of the horse of the 16th century.

He was born into a wealthy family in Bologna, Italy and was privately educated in the style of most upper class children. He did not receive special training as a physician or attend the famous university in Bologna. It is unknown if he received special training in art. He appears to have been an avid collector of horses and a rider. His noted work, Anatomia del Cavallo, appeared two months after his death in 1598 and was a milestone in equine veterinary publishing. It is especially known for its well drafted woodcut images of horse anatomy which were heavily influenced by human anatomical works published in the decades before, especially Andreas Vesalius' De Fabrica Corporis Humani (Basel, 1543). It was also the first book to focus exclusively on the structure of a species other than man. Numerous editions of the work were published, and its images and text were often plagiarized, including the many errors found in the first edition.


  • Dunlop, Robert H. and David J. Williams. Veterinary Medicine: An Illustrated History. (St. Louis: Mosby, 1996). pp. 242–245.
  • Karasszon, D. A Concise History of Veterinary Medicine. Trans. by E. Farkas. (Budapest: Akadémiai Kiado, 1988). pp. 253–254.
  • Morton's Medical Bibliography (Garrison and Morton). Ed. By Jeremy Norman. Fifth ed. (Aldershot, Hants., England: Scolar Press; Brookfield, Vt., USA: Gower Pub. Co., 1991). No. 285.


  • Adapted from public domain text at Carlo Ruini Biography. Historical Anatomies on the Web. US National Library of Medicine.

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