Skip to main content

Netter, Frank Henry

Frank Henry Netter, 1906–1991, American physician and medical illustrator, b. Brooklyn, N.Y. He attended City College as well as the National Academy of Design and Art Students League and became a successful commercial artist, but he abandoned that career and entered the New York Univ. School of Medicine (M.D., 1931). After completing (1933) his surgical residency, Netter turned his attention to medical illustration. In 1937 he illustrated an advertisement for the pharmaceutical company CIBA, beginnin a 45-year relationship with the firm (later Ciba-Geigy). Netter created a series of individual organ illustrations for CIBA and then depicted aspects of pathology, later published in the CIBA Collection of Medical Illustrations (1948). The atlases that became his life's work, illustrating the anatomy, physiology, and pathology of the systems of the human body, ultimately were published as the Atlas of Human Anatomy (1989). Its illustrations, used by generations of medical students and physicians, mingle a vivid beauty with anatomical precision, earning Netter his reputation as the greatest medical illustrator of the 20th cent. Among his innovations was the depiction of various aspects of a disease or condition—cause, effect, treatment, and complications—in a single picture.

See R. P. Smith and P. J. Turek, ed., The Netter Collection of Medical Illustrations (2d ed., 7 vol., 2013); biography by F. M. Netter, his daughter (2001, repr. 2013).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Netter, Frank Henry." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . 19 Apr. 2019 <>.

"Netter, Frank Henry." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . (April 19, 2019).

"Netter, Frank Henry." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved April 19, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.