William Harvey (1578-1657), Physician, discovered the circulation of the blood
Sitter in 17 portraits
Court physician to James I and Charles I, Harvey is best known for his discovery of the principle of blood circulation. His De Motu Cordis et Sanguinis (On the Movement of the Heart and Blood), published in 1628, identified the heart as a pump, central to the flow of blood. Harvey also conducted work in embryology and argued that life arose from the egg and was not spontaneously generated as previously thought. He was described as 'hot-headed, and his thoughts working would many times keep him from sleeping'.