Cabinet cité par Pierre Borel (1649) et décrit par John Evelyn (1641).
Ce cabinet fait partie du catalogue donné par Pierre Borel à la suite de ses Antiquitez… de la Ville, et Comté de Castres d'Albigeois, p. 124 à 131, sous le titre de Roole des principaux cabinets curieux, et autres choses remarquables qui se voyent ez principales Villes de l'Europe.
Pierre Borel mentionne, pour la ville de Leyde :
Le Theatre Anatomique."
John Evelyn le visite en 1641:
Hence to the physic-garden, well stored with exotic plants, if the catalogue present to me by the gardener be a faithful register.
But, amongst all the rarities of this place, I was much pleased with a sight of their anatomy-school, theatre, and repository adjoining, which is well furnished with natural curiosities ; skeletons, from the whale and elephant to the fly and spider ; which last is a very delicate piece of art, to see how the bones (if I may so call them of so tender an insect) could be separated from the mucilaginous parts of that minute animal. Amongst a great variety of other things, I was shown the knife newly taken out of a drunken Dutchman’s guts, by an incision in his side, after it had slipped from his fingers into his stomach. The pictures of the chirurgeon and his patient, both living, were there.
(The diary of John Evelyn, Ed. William Bray, J.M. DENT et E.P DULTON, London-New York, 1905, Tome 1, p.28–29.)