The Netter Collection of Medical Illustrations
VIDEO: The Netter Collection of Medical Illustrations - the relaunch of the CIBA “green books”
Dr. Frank H. Netter exemplified the distinct vocations of doctor, artist, and teacher. Even more importantly—he unified them. Netter’s illustrations always began with meticulous research into the forms of the body, a philosophy that steered his broad and deep medical understanding. He often said: “Clarification is the goal. No matter how beautifully it is painted, a medical illustration has little value if it does not make clear a medical point.” His greatest challenge and greatest success was chartering a middle course between artistic clarity and instructional complexity. That success is captured in this series, beginning in 1948, when the first comprehensive collection of Netter’s work, a single volume, was published by CIBA Pharmaceuticals. It met with such success that over the following 40 years the collection was expanded into an 8-volume series—each devoted to a single body system.
The single-volume “blue book” that paved the way for the multi-volume Netter Collection of Medical Illustrations series affectionately known as the “green books.
In this second edition of the legendary series, we are delighted to offer Netter’s timeless work, now arranged and informed by modern text and radiologic imaging contributed by field-leading doctors and teachers from world-renowned medical institutions, and supplemented with new illustrations created by artists working in the Netter tradition. Inside the classic green covers, students and practitioners will find hundreds of original works of art-- the human body in pictures-- paired with the latest in expert medical knowledge and innovation, and anchored in the sublime style of Frank Netter.
Notable artist-physician, Carlos Machado, MD, the primary successor responsible for continuing the Netter tradition, has particular appreciation for the “green book” series, “The Reproductive System is of special significance for those who, like me deeply admire Dr. Netter’s work. In this volume, he masters the representation of textures of different surfaces, which I like to call ‘the rhythm of the brush,’ since it is the dimension, the direction of the strokes and the interval separating them that create the illusion of given textures: organs have their external surfaces, the surfaces of their cavities, and texture of their parenchymas realistically represented. It set the style for the subsequent volumes of Netter's Collection - each an amazing combination of painting masterpieces and precise scientific information."
A brand new illustrated plate painted by Carlos Machado, MD, for The Endocrine System Volume, 2e
Though the science and teaching of medicine endures changes in terminology, practice and discovery, some things remain the same. A patient is a patient. A teacher is a teacher. And the pictures of Dr. Netter— he called them pictures, never paintings—remain the same blend of beautiful and instructional resources that have guided physicians’ hands and nurtured their imaginations for over half a century.
The original series could not exist without the dedication of all those who edited, authored, or in other ways contributed, nor, of course, without the excellence of Dr. Netter. For this exciting second edition, we also owe our gratitude to the Authors, Editors, Advisors, and Artists whose relentless efforts were instrumental in adapting these timeless works into reliable references for today’s clinicians in training and in practice. From all of us with the Netter Publishing Team at Elsevier, we thank you.
Dr. Carlos Machado at work.