Cholera in France 1859

“The scene is the interior of a rough and ready hospital; upon the beds are the poor riches in the throes of agony and death. To the left one raises himself, nude and haggard, and howls with insane vehemence; beside him another grows blue and rigid as a medical attendant hurries to his side with a bowl of soup . . . The whole thing is disgusting to the spectator, and degrading in itself; the horrors of loathsome diseases are not fit subjects for art . . .” (William Sharp. National Review, 1887)

Patients suffering from cholera in the Jura during the 1854 epidemic, with Dr. Gachet attending them. Pencil drawing by A. Gautier, 1859. Credit: Wellcome Collection. (CC BY 4.0)



Spring 2020  |  Sections  |  Infectious Diseases