One of the first rectors was Lluís Navarro (1521) who
had founded a benefice and remodelled the university
Sapiencia chapel, and also financed the altarpiece with
an image of the Virgin Mary between St. Luke and St.
Nicholas by the painter Nicolás Falcó (1517).
When the University was founded Italian humanism and
nominalistic trends from Paris and Oxford prevailed in
Europe. The appointment in 1525 of Joan de Salaia as
permanent rector until 1558 used up the funds of several
university departments, which were closed. This
impoverished and reduced the Estudi General
and increased the rector’s power to appoint
lecturers and maintain external discipline. His overt
anti-Erasmianism marked the beginning of a period of
At that time it was the School of Medicine that gained
greater prominence because of Lluís Alcanyís’ teaching.
He was the author of a book called Regiment
preservatiu e curatiu de la pestilencia, a
pioneering work on public health, and had founded a
college for surgeons in 1462. The anatomical dissections
performed by Pere Ximeno and Lluís Collado, followers of
Andrea Vesalius, and the Herbs department where Joan
Plaza had made a botanical garden for practical
training, placed Valencia in the forefront of European
medical humanism, with as many as seven medical
departments in the second half of the sixteenth century.