William Cowper Initials


These historiated initials were created by William Cowper for his atlas of human myology, the Myotomia Reformata. Cowper was an 18th-century London surgeon and anatomist. The collection reveals Cowper's artistic ability, his macabre sense of humour, and his passion for muscles and bones.


John Monro (1670-1740)

Collection Items

The letter 'A'.
"Of the Muscles of the Thumb.
Authors disagree concerning the Number, Rise and Insertions of these Muscles; which may partly proceed from that great Variety to be observ'd in divers Subjects. As they have most commonly appeared to me, I shall…

The letter 'A'.
"Introduction. Concerning the Muscles and their Action.
As all the Appearances of Nature furnish matter for Speculation worthy of a rational Mind; so those of the Animal OEconomy more particularly recommend themselves to our Consideration" (Cowper,…

The letter 'A'.
"Of the Muscles of the Penis.
Anatomists generally describe two Pair of Muscles belonging to the Penis, viz. Acceleratores and Erectores. Besides these, we sometimes meet with a third Pair mentioned and figured by Stephen Riverius" (Cowper, 1724,…

The letter 'C'.
"Of the Muscles of the Eye. ... the accurate Falloppius, who first observed the Trochlea, has given us the most exact Description of these Muscles of the Eye, as well as those of the Palpebrae" (Cowper, 1724, Chap. IX).

The letter 'C'.
"Of the Muscles of the Leg" (Cowper, 1724, Chap. XXXIII).

The letter 'E'.
"Of the Muscles of the Testes.
Each Testicle is attended with one proper Muscle call'd Cremaster, to which Riolan adds another, and thinks it common to both, comprehending them in the manner of a Bag; but other Anatomists take it for a Membrane…

The letter 'F'.
"Of the Muscles of the Lower Jaw.
Five Pair of Muscles are employ'd in the Motion of the Lower Jaw: Four of which were described by Vesalius and the preceding Anatomists; but for the Discovery of the fifth we are obliged to Falloppius. To these…

The letter 'F'.
"Of the Muscles of the Uvula.
Falloppius mentions the second and third of these Muscles among those of the Fauces; but Riolan first ascribed them to this Part, and call'd them Pterygostaphylinus Internus and Externus. The Discovery of the…

The letter 'F'.
"Of the Muscles of the Tongue.
For the Motion of this Part, Authors assign various Numbers of Muscles; some reckoning eight, others nine, some ten, and others eleven, amongst which they count the Tongue it self" (Cowper, 1724, Chap. XIV).

The letter 'F'.
"Of the Muscles of the Auricula or Outward Ear.
Falloppius, the first Writer of these Muscles, informs us there are sometimes found three belonging to each Auricle; the First or Attollens, the Second or Deprimens, and the Third, which is part of the…

The letter 'G'.
"Of the Muscles of the Eye-Lids" (Cowper, 1724, Chap. VIII).

The letter 'G'.
"Of the Muscles of the Bladder of Urine.
Galen and the ancient Anatomists take notice of but one Muscle belonging to this Part, viz. the Sphincter, but Fabricius ab Aquapendente mentions another, call'd by Spigelius, Detrusor Urinae, from its Use"…

The letter 'G'.
"of the Muscles of the Arm, or Os Humeri.
Galen, Jacobus Sylvius, and Vesalius, describe seven Muscles belonging to each Arm, viz. Pectoralis, Deltoides, Teres Major, Latissimus Dorsi, Supraspinatus, Infraspinatus, and Subscapularis. Arantius, in…

The letter 'I'.
"Of the Muscles of the Abdomen.
It being usual for the Contents of the lower Belly to putrefy and grow offensive sooner than any other Part of the Body, Anatomists for this Reason generally begin their Dissections with the Abdomen" (Cowper, 1724,…

The letter 'I'.
"The Preface.
In the Contemplation of Nature we meet with nothing that affords us a more invincible Argument of the Wisdom of the Divine Architect, than the Structure and Composition of Animal Bodies; nor is this Infinite Understanding less…

The letter 'S'.
"Of the Muscles of the Os Hyoides, or Bone of the Tongue.
Since the Os Hyoides is fastened to the Tongue and Larynx, the Muscles which move it ought to be esteemed common to both" (Cowper, 1724, Chap. X111).

The letter 'T'.
"Of the Muscles of the Four Lesser Toes.
These (like the Muscles of the Fingers) we shall divide into Common and Proper. The Common Muscles of the Toes are such, as have their Tendons inserted into all the lesser Toes, as the Extensor Digitorum…

The letter 'T'.
"Of the Muscles of the Foot
The Foot has seven Muscles properly employ'd in its Motions ... "(Cowper, 1724, Chap. XXXIV)
"Of the Muscles of the Great Toe.
The great Toe is moved by its proper Muscles, which we reckon to be six in number…

The letter 'T'.
"Of the Muscles of the Thigh
The Enumeration, Description and Office of the Muscles belonging to this Part, is variously set down by different Authors" (Cowper, 1724, Chap. XXXII).

The letter 'T'.
" Of the Muscles of the Radius.
The Radius is bent and extended in common with the Ulna, or Cubitus; but besides that, it hath also a proper Motion, in which the Carpus together with the Hand is chiefly moved, or turned, either upwards or…

The letter 'T'.
"Of the Muscles of the Wrist, or Carpus.
These are well described by most Authors, and receive their names from their Situation and Use" (Cowper, 1724, Chap. XXX).

The letter 'T'.
"Of the Muscles of the Four Fingers
These we shall divide into Common and Proper. The Common Muscles of the Fingers are such, as arise from the external or internal Protuberances of the Os Humeri, and subdividing themselves, are inserted into most,…

The letter 'T'.
"Of the Muscles of the Cubit.
The lower part of the Arm from the Elbow to the Wrist is called the Cubit, which is bended and extended by five Muscles, namely, Biceps, Brachiaeus Internus, Gemellus, Brachiaeus Externus, and Anconaeus" (Cowper, 1724,…

The letter 'T'.
"Of the Muscles of the Neck
The Muscles of the Neck move the Head secondarily, whence they are esteemed as Common to both. Of these Authors reckon four pair, namely the Longi Colli, the Scaleni, (which according to Falloppius are described amongst…

The letter 'T'.
"Of the Muscles of the Head
The Head is moved by Muscles that are either Common or Proper" (Cowper, Chap. XXII).
View all 33 items

Collection Tree