Jules Germain Cloquet
Biography of Jules Germain Cloquet
Jules Germain Cloquet was the younger brother of Hippolyte Cloquet (1787-1840). He initially worked as an apprentice in the workshop of his father who was a draughtsman, and later as modeller of anatomical figures in the faculty of Paris. He first studied the natural sciences in Rouen, but came to Paris in 1810 to devote himself to medicine. Already the following year he was preparator of anatomy at the medical school, becoming prosector at the faculty in 1815. In 1817 he was conferred doctor of medicine with a dissertation on abdominal hernias, of which he had sectioned some 300. Hernias remained an important element of his research. The same year he was awarded a prize from the Académie des sciences for a treatise that was not published until six years later.
In 1819 Cloquet competed successfully for a position as Chirurgien en chef adjoint at the Hôpital St. Louis. Besides his work on hernias, he is also credited with the first description of the central canal of the vitreous (the hyaloid canal). In 1821 he was elected one of the first members of the Academy of Medicine.
In 1824, through concours, he was appointed professor agrégé of surgery. In 1831, once more through concours, he was appointed professor of surgical pathology at the Medical Faculty of Paris, in 1834 also of clinical surgery. He had to resign from all practical activities in 1841-1842, as his health condition no longer permitted him to continue. However, in 1844 he was a member of the exhibition jury, and in 1851 was appointed chirurgien consultant to the emperor. In 1855 he became a member of the Academy of Sciences.
Cloquet commenced the publication of his famous work Anatomie de l'homme in 1821. The complete work contains some 1300 illustrations, most if them made by Cloquet himself, and took ten years to publish in extenso.
Cloquet reformed theoretical education through the use pictures and preparations. His lectures were collected and published by Dominique-Jean Baron Larrey (1766-1842). Besides a large number of treatises on surgery and anatomy, Cloquet is credited the invention of several surgical instruments, among them the artery forceps and a device for the removal of foreign bodies.