Vesalius's De corporis humani fabrica libri septem is one of the most influential medical texts ever printed, not only because of the scientific methods used to produce it, but because of the artistic renderings of the anatomist's findings. Although he relied heavily upon Galen, at times translating his words exactly, Vesalius performed his own careful dissections and observed the body in great detail, confirming and refuting many of Galen's anatomical and physiological tenets. His peers reacted strongly to his decision to question Galen, and he received praise and condemnation.
The famous woodcut illustrations of De fabrica influenced the depiction of anatomy for centuries and were often copied outright. Jan Stephan Calkar (d. 1568) created a set of similar images for Vesalius's 1538 work, Tabulae anatomicae sex, and is credited with the portrait of Vesalius which appears in De fabrica. He was once thought to have been the sole illustrator, but subsequent scholarship has shown that the work is that of several different artists. While Vesalius certainly performed many of the sketches himself, the unknown artists are now only known collectively as "the workshop of Titian." A number of important works have been published on Vesalius and De fabrica, and scholarship in the field is still active.