De anatomische preparaten van Frederik Ruysch


International Ruysch-researchgroup
Peter the Great Museum for Anthropology and Ethnography of the Academy of Sciences, the Kunstkamera, Saint Petersburg (MAE RAS, Kunstkamera) and the University of Amsterdam
Trilobiet Internetdiensten, Rotterdam
Technical realisation
Digital Production Centrum, Library of the University of Amsterdam.
Financial support
Wilhelmina E. Jansen fonds (main sponsor),
Prins Bernard Cultuurfonds,
Dr. Hendrik Muller's Vaderlandsch Fonds
and the Kattendyke/Drucker Stichting.
MAE RAS, Kunstkamera was supported by the Royal Netherlands Embassy Moscow.

Copyright & Permissions

If not noted otherwise all illustrations on this site originate from the Library of the University of Amsterdam and the Peter the Great Museum for Anthropology and Ethnography, Russian Academy of Sciences, Kunstkamera, Saint Petersburg. Concerning all other illustrations, we tried to find and inform the copyrightowners. If you think, in spite of this, a certain creditline is not correct, or not complete, please contact us.

This Online exhibition is designed for private study, scholarship, and research. The Kunstkamera and the Library of the University of Amsterdam do not charge access or permission fees for use of material found in the online exhibition. We do request, however, that images include the relevant credit line 'MAE RAS Kunstkamera, Saint Petersburg' or 'Library of the University of Amsterdam'.

Anyone wishing to reproduce or publish, other than for private study, scholarship, and research, photomaterial from the online exhibition must ask permission of the copyright holders.
Be sure to look for the rules on
Write to museum/at/kunstkamera/dot/ru, or to ub-baliebc/at/uva/dot/nl.

Background information on the research program

Ruysch Thesauri Anatomici are the basis of the research of the international Ruysch Reserachgroup, of which Anna B. Radzyun is the projectleader in Petersburg en Jozien J. Driessen van het Reve in Amsterdam.

In Petersburg 916 Anatomical preparations of Ruysch are preserved. In Amsterdam in the Thesauri Anatomici where Ruysch described all of his 1.515 preparations are preserved. The researchgroup aims for reunifying all still existing 916 preparations with their original descriptions by Ruysch. We present on this site succesfull unifications . An arthistorical database Bert van de Roemer prepared for a publication was of great use to search the 1.515 specimens described by Ruysch.

The international researchgroup in Amsterdam and Petersburg reunites preparations with their often elaborate descriptions. The results, - descriptions and photografs of these preparations are presented as a virtual museum, a webexhibition, to be found on two internet adresses, on the site of the MAE RAS, Kunstkamera, and on the site of the Library of the University of Amsterdam.


For further information or comments on this online exhibition, please contact

Participants of the international Ruysch-research group

Supervisors of the research are:

  • MAE RAS Kunstkamera: Prof. Dr. Y. K. Chistov, director of MAE RAS, Kunstkamera, inspected all the major anatomical collections in the Netherlands with Dr. A.B. Radzyun.
  • UvA: Prof. Dr. W. den Boer, researched in conceptual history in comparative European perspective, specialized on the vocabulary and the history of Dutch key concepts of the Radical Enlightenment and atheism.

Technical supervisor

  • Drs. Ing. R. Brandsma, specialized in digital access ability, search ability and presentation of historical material on the World Wide Web, will realize the publication of the results of the research and the source materials on sites of the Kunstkamera in St. Petersburg and of the Library of the Universiteit van Amsterdam.

Chief researchers

  • Dr. A. B. Radzjoen, coordinator of the project, member of an international working group of curators of anatomical specimens, published on medical history, and especially on the history of the Ruysch collection, will determine and analyze the specimens.
  • Dr. J. J. Driessen van het Reve, coordinator of the project for the Dutch side, published on the history of the Ruysch-collection and the early history of the Kunstkamera, together with Anna Radzyun re-establishes the relation between Ruysch' descriptions and the actual specimens. She is the curator of the virtual museum.


  • Prof. Dr. O. P. Bleker, prof emeritus gynaecology of University of Amsterdam, published on Dutch 18th century medical history, identifise specimen and descriptions, investigates the medical relevance of Ruysch' achievements in the wider context of the history of medical sciences.
  • Dhr. W. Mulder, curator emeritus of the University Museum Utrecht, member of the board of an international working group of curators of anatomical specimens, published on medical history, and especially on the history of the Ruysch collection, expert on conservation of anatomical specimen, matches specimen and descriptions.
  • Dr. G. M. van de Roemer, published on the history of 17th century collections in Amsterdam. Studies the relation between the cognitive and aesthetic rationales of the collection of Frederik Ruysch. His database gives short qualifications of the preparations described in the original thesauri of Ruysch.

Senior advisor

  • Dr. Luuc Kooijmans, author of the standard biography of Frederik Ruysch, De Doodskunstenaar, 2004 also available in a Russian and an English translation and a awardwinning study on another major Dutch scientist, Jan Swammerdam. Gevaarlijke kennis, inzicht en angst in de dagen van Jan Swammerdam, 2007.