Tag Archives: Art Essays

Drawing parallels in pandemic art

Mariella Scerri Mellieha, Malta Victor Grech Pembroke, Malta   Photo of the crowd at an undetermined 1918 Georgia Tech home football game. Photo by Thomas Carter, Public domain. Via Wikimedia. “Everybody knows that pestilences have a way of recurring in the world; yet somehow we find it hard to believe in ones that crash down […]

Monet’s illnesses: beyond cataracts

Sally Metzler Chicago, Illinois, USA   Fig. 1: Claude Monet, Apple Trees in Blossom, 1872, Union League Club of Chicago. Fig. 2: Claude Monet, The Japanese Footbridge, ca. 1922, Modern Museum of Art New York. No other artist in the world is more beloved than Claude Monet (1840-1926), the father of French Impressionism. From Shanghai […]

Ghirlandaio, humanism, and truth: the portrait of an elderly man and young boy

Vincent P. de Luise New Haven, Connecticut, United States   Figure 1. Portrait of an Elderly Man and Child (Ritratto di un Vecchio e Nipote) Domenico Ghirlandaio, tempera on poplar panel. 1490. Louvre. Source. “. . . There is no more human a picture in the entire range of Quattrocento painting, whether in or out […]

Leonardo’s Vitruvian Man

JMS Pearce England, UK   Second only to his Mona Lisa, the most famous drawing in the world of art is perhaps Leonardo da Vinci’s (1452–1519) Vitruvian Man. Leonardo was the illegitimate son of a notary and a peasant girl. He was named after his birthplace Vinci (at Anchiano) near Florence. He became a painter, […]

Ophthalmology in Regency era China: a portrait of Thomas Richardson Colledge by George Chinnery

Stephen Martin Thailand   Fig. 1. Dr. Thomas Richardson Colledge and his assistant Afun in their Ophthalmic Hospital, Macao, 1833. Oil on canvas. Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA. Thomas Richardson Colledge (1797-1879) was an ophthalmic surgeon who practiced in Macao, China, for a quarter of a century in the late Regency era. Colledge’s daughter, Frances […]

Mental illness in art

JMS Pearce Hull, England   Corridor in the Asylum. Vincent can Gogh. 1889. Metropolitan Museum of Art. It is often said that creative art is linked to eccentricity, sometimes bordering on madness. Examples abound of great musicians, writers, and artists who at some time in their lives were deranged and often committed to institutions for […]

Tooth extraction in art: from the dental key to the forceps

Vicent Rodilla Alicia López-Castellano Christina Ribes-Vallés Valencia, Spain   Figure 1. A surgeon concealing the Dental key from the patient by Luciano Nezzo (1856-1903). Wellcome Collection. CC Tooth extraction has been practiced for centuries, being carried out first by often itinerant barber-surgeons, and, once the profession became regulated in the late 1800s, by licenced dentists. […]

Falls and art: an evolving story

Glenn Arendts Murdoch, Australia   The Blind Leading the Blind, 1568, Pieter Bruegel, Museo di Capodimonte, Naples Wellcome Collection  Coming to rest inadvertently on the ground:1 the World Health Organization (WHO) definition of a fall sounds vaguely patronizing, bordering on disinterested. The human act of staying upright is a complex triumph of the integration of […]

Edgar Degas’ light sensitivity and its effects on his art

Zeynel Karcioglu Virginia, USA   Author and wife in front of The Alexander and Bucephalus at The National Gallery in Washington DC, contrasting the gleaming white of Alexander’s chiton with their dark clothing. The celebrated nineteenth century French painter Hilaire-Germain Edgar Degas was born in Paris in 1834 to a Creole mother from New Orleans […]

The special art of Vienna

Irving Rosen Toronto, Ontario, Canada   Fig.1 Gustav Klimt painted this portrait of Adele Bloch Bauer typical of his golden women portraits. This portrait was seized and renamed by Hitler as Lady in Gold Vienna, capital of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire, has always promised intellectual fervor, Strauss waltzes, Schnitzlerian flirtations, Sachertorte, and the beautiful golden […]