Frank Netter: The Physician, The Artist, The Art This selection of the art of Dr. Frank H. Netter on neuroanatomy and neurophysiology is drawn from the Atlas of Human Anatomy and Netter's Atlas of Human Physiology. Viewing these pictures again prompts reflection on Dr. Netter's work and his roles as physician and artist. Frank H. Netter was born in 1 906 in New York City. He pursued his artistic muse at the Sorbonne, the Art Student's League, and the National Academy of Design before entering medical school at New York University where he received his M.D. degree in 1931. During his student years, Dr. Netter's notebook sketches attracted the attention of the medical faculty and other physicians, allow- ing him to augment his income by illustrating articles and textbooks. He continued illustrating as a sideline after establishing a surgical practice in 1933, but ultimately opted to give up his practice in favor of a full-time commitment to art. After service in the United States Army during the Second World War, Dr. Netter began his long collaboration with the CIBA Pharmaceutical Company (now Novartis Pharmaceuticals). This 45-year partnership resulted in the production of the extraordinary collection of medical art so familiar to physicians and other medical professionals worldwide. When Dr. Netter's work is discussed, attention is focused primarily on Netter the artist and only secondarily on Netter the physician. As a student of Dr. Netter's work for more than forty years, I can say that the true strength of a Netter illustration was always established well before brush was laid to paper. In that respect each plate is more of an intellectual than an artistic or aesthetic exercise. It is easy to appreciate the aesthetic qualities of Dr. Netter's work, but to overlook its intellectual quali- ties is to miss the real strength and intent of the art. This intellectual process requires thorough under- standing of the topic, as Dr. Netter wrote: "Strange as it may seem, the hardest part of making a med- ical picture is not the drawing at all. It is the planning, the conception, the determination of point of view and the approach which will best clarify the subject which takes the most effort." Years before the inception of "the integrated curriculum," Netter the physician realized that a good medical illustration can include clinical information and physiologic functions as well as anato- my. In pursuit of this principle Dr. Netter often integrates pertinent basic and clinical science ele- ments in his anatomic interpretations. Although he was chided for this heresy by a prominent European anatomy professor, many generations of students training to be physicians rather than anatomists have appreciated Dr. Netter's concept. The integration of physiology and clinical medicine with anatomy has led Dr. Netter to another, more subtle, choice in his art. Many texts and atlases published during the period of Dr. Netter's career depict anatomy clearly based on cadaver specimens with renderings of shrunken and shriv- eled tissues and organs. Netter the physician chose to render "live" versions of these structures— not shriveled, colorless, formaldehyde-soaked tissues, but plump, robust organs, glowing with color! The value of Dr. Netter This volume brings together two distinct but related aspects of the work of Frank H. Netter, MD, and associated artists. Netter is best known as the creator of the Atlas of Human Anatomy, a comprehensive textbook of gross anatomy that has become the standard atlas for students of the subject. But Netter's work included far more than anatomical art. In the pages of Clinical Symposia, a series of mono- graphs published over a period of more than 50 years, and in The Netter Collection of Medical Illustrations, this premier medical artist created superb illustrations of biological and physiological processes, disease pathology, clinical presentations, and medical procedures. As a service to the medical community, Novartis Pharmaceuticals has commis- sioned this special edition of Netter's work, which includes his beautiful and instructive illustrations of nervous system anatomy as well as his depictions of neurophysiological concepts and functions. We hope that readers will find Dr. Netter's renderings of neurological form and function interesting and useful.