D is for Dryander

Andreas Vesalius, De humani corporis fabrica libri septem, Basel: ex. off. J. Oporini, 1543, p. 125, initial D, woodcut 3.7 x 3.7 cm, N*.1.2(A).

This initial shows putti about to saw open the head. In the Fabrica, Vesalius showed a sequence of images of a dissected brain, which was a method of display also deployed by Dryander. During his dissection lectures at Bologna Vesalius urged his students to consult Dryander’s book, and he also noted in the Fabrica that he had corresponded with Dryander. ‘D’ here may well stand for Dryander.