De Graaf, Regnier


Regnier de Graaf (1641–1673) was a Dutch anatomist, experimental physiologist and innovative theorist, who received his medical training at Leiden University during a particularly creative period of methodological improvements in the field. Continuing his physiological studies even as a practitioner in Delft, de Graaf personally cultivated a scientific attitude to medical and biological questions that would bring him lasting fame, especially for his description of the female reproductive organs and his interpretation of the nature of mammalian ovaries. The term ‘Graafian follicle’, which stands for a mature ovarian follicle containing a ripened ovum, is derived from his name.

Keywords: ovary; Graafian follicle; testis; pancreas; Sylvius

Further Reading

Barge JAJ (1942) Reinier de Graaf, 1641–1941, Mededeelingen der Nederlandsche Akademie van Wetenschappen Afdeeling Letterkunde, nw series. Vol. 5, pp. 257–281. Amsterdam: Noord‐Hollandsche Uitgevers Maatschappij.

van Dongen JA (1965) ‘Biographical Note’ and ‘Introduction’ to Reinier de Graaf, De mulierum organis generationi inservientibus. Nieuwkoop: De Graaf.

de Graaf R (1664) De succi pancreati natura et usu exercitatio anatomico‐medica. Leiden: Hackiana (French ed. Paris, 1666; new ed. Leiden, 1671; English ed. London, 1676).

de Graaf R (1668) De virorum organis generationi inservientibus, de clysteribus et de usu syphonis in anatomia. Leiden & Rotterdam: Hackiana (English ed. Oxford, 1972).

de Graaf R (1672) De mulierum organis generationi inservientibus tractatus novus. Leiden: Hackiana (new ed. Leiden, 1699; Nieuwkoop, 1965; English ed. Manchester, 1848; Oxford, 1972).

de Graaf R (1677) Opera omnia. Lyon: Huguetan (new ed. Amsterdam, 1705).

de Graaf R (1677) Alle de wercken, so in de ontleed‐kunde, als andere deelen der medicyne. Amsterdam: Abrahamse.

Houtzager HL (ed.) (1991) Reinier de Graaf 1614–1673: In sijn leven Nauwkeurig Ontleder en gelukkig Geneesheer tot Delft. Rotterdam: Erasmus Publishing.

Klein M (1992) Graaf, Regnier de. In: Gillespie CC, (ed). Dictionary of Scientific Biography. Vol. 5, pp. 484–485. New York: Scribner.

Lindeboom GA (1973) Reinier de Graaf: Leven en werken 30‐7‐1641/17‐8‐1673. Delft: Elmar.

Lindeboom GA (1975) Dog and Frog. Physiological experiments at Leiden during the seventeenth century. In: Lunsingh Scheurleer TH and Posthumus Meyjes GHM, (eds). Leiden University in the Seventeenth Century. An Exchange of Learning, pp. 278–293. Leiden: Universitaire Pers/E.J. Brill.

Mortreux E (1924) Graaf (Reinier de). In: Molhuysen PC, Blok PJ and Kossmann FRH, (eds). Nieuw Nederlandsch Biografisch Woordenboek. Vol. 6, pp. 613–614. Leiden: Sijthoff cols.

Roger J (1997) In: Benson KR, (ed.) Robert Ellrich (transl.). The Life Sciences in Eighteenth‐Century French Thought. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

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van Ruler, Han(Apr 2015) De Graaf, Regnier. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0002407.pub2]