Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Saints Damian and Cosmas removing a bullet from a man’s chest

The renowned third century saints Cosmas and Damian were also doctors, often shown in paintings replacing a gangrenous leg with a healthy one. Here the two saints are performing an operation to remove a bullet from a patient’s chest.

Saint Cosmas and Saint Damian dressing a chest wound. Oil painting by Antoine de Favray, 1748. Credit: Wellcome Collection. (CC BY-NC 4.0)


The creator, Antoine de Favray, was a French artist who worked for the Knights of Malta and became a knight of the order himself. He worked in Malta’s capital, Valletta, in a large infirmary that had beds for five hundred patients.



Spring 2020  |  Sections  |  Surgery

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