Gaspare Tagliacozzi, pioneer of plastic surgery and the spread of his technique throughout Europe in "de Curtorum Chirurgia per Insitionem"

P. Tomba, A. Viganò, P. Ruggieri, A. Gasbarrini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Gaspare Tagliacozzi's innovative surgical technique, which consisted of reconstructing parts of the face by grafting, was masterfully described in the work that made him famous, "De Curtorum Chirurgia per Insitionem." It was published by Gaspare Bindoni the Younger in 1597 in Venice, who was granted the exclusive right to print it by the Senate. However, in the same year in Venice Roberto Meietti published an unauthorized edition; nevertheless, this edition was soon discovered. The great demand for the text even abroad was soon testified by a 3rd edition published in Frankfurt in 1598, similar to the Bindoni edition but in another format and with a different title. This has caused confusion among bibliographers and Authors. Two centuries later, in 1831 in Berlin, a 4th edition was printed, thus suggesting renewed interest in rhinoplasty procedures, which surgeons Van Graefe and Dieffenbach promoted in Germany. However, few people know that the integral text of Tagliacozzi's De Curtorum was also published by Jacques Manget in his "Bibliotheca Chirurgica," printed in Venice in 1721. The name of the illustrator of the three fourteenth-century editions, whose illustrations in the text are compared, is not known. Instead the name of the artist, Tiburzio Passerotti, who painted Tagliacozzi's portrait holding his De Curtorum open at the ninth woodcut shortly before it was printed, is well known. The impact of Tagliacozzi's technique on modern surgery is supported by experience of the last century as well as recent years, mostly in musculoskeletal oncology reconstruction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)445-450
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Plastic surgery
  • Rhinoplasty
  • Tagliacozzi's technique

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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