Tag Archives: Art Essays

Dear brainstem, you remind me of the Mona Lisa

Serena Yue Hong Kong, China   Left: The Mona Lisa. Leonardo da Vinci, between 1503 and 1506. Louvre Museum. Via Wikimedia. Public domain. Right: Brainstem, ventral view. Designed by erico and edited by 小野 浩雅(ONO, Hiromasa). © 2016 DBCLS TogoTV. CC-BY-4.0. Dear brainstem, You remind me of the Mona Lisa, seated firmly and comfortably atop […]

Gently, Doctor, tell me what you see

Florence Gelo Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States   Girl with a Hand Mirror. William McGregor Paxton, 1915. Courtesy of the Reading Public Museum, Reading, Pennsylvania. In order to emphasize the role of the arts when teaching the humanities in medicine, I have often taken medical students, residents, and doctors to art museums to develop the art […]

Using art to educate about breast cancer

Viney Kirpal India   Step 1: Raise your arm and examine the breast and underarm region. Step 2: Use the flat of your fingers to examine the breast in different positions: while in the shower with soap on your body, while lying down, and while standing in front of a mirror. Step 3: Check for […]

Diagnosing Mona Lisa

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   “Mona Lisa looks as if she has just been sick, or is about to be.” – Noel Coward   Crowd photographing the Mona Lisa at the Louvre Museum. Photo by Victor Grigas, June 25, 2014, on Wikimedia. CC BY-SA 4.0. Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519) was a many-talented genius of the […]

The vulnerability of love

Florence Gelo Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States   Breakfast in Bed, Mary Cassatt, 1897, The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens. Gift of the Virginia Steele Scott Foundation. Courtesy of the Huntington Art Museum, San Marino, California. Via Wikimedia. Public domain. On Thanksgiving Day, I watch my niece Jenn with her seven-month-old daughter Laila playing […]

Traumatic experience and creativity: René Magritte

Mirjana Stojkovic-Ivkovic Belgrade, Serbia   The Lovers. René Magritte, 1928. Fair use. A painter’s creativity often results from artistic inspiration, but it can also be a manifestation of fear, pain, and suffering. René Magritte (1898–1967), a Belgian painter and great figure in modern art, expressed his thoughts and his feelings on the canvas. His unique […]

The wounds of Christ and Prometheus – two of a kind?

Julia van Rosmalen Thomas van Gulik Amsterdam, Netherlands   Fig. 1. Peter Paul Rubens, Prometheus Bound, 1611-1612. The eagle has buried its claws into the face and leg of Prometheus and uses its beak to tear out part of his liver that it has extracted through the right side of his chest. In the lower […]

Depiction of defecation in the works of Pieter Bruegel

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Two behinds out the same window. Detail from Netherlandish Proverbs (The Blue Cloak). Pieter Bruegel the Elder. 1559. Gemäldegalerie. Via Wikimedia. “Civilization rests upon two things – the discovery that fermentation produces alcohol, and the voluntary ability to inhibit defecation.” —Robertson Davies, The Rebel Angels The life of the peasant […]

Arthur Bispo do Rosário: creation in psychosis

Rebecca Grossman-Kahn Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States   Untitled, Arthur Bispo do Rosario. Personal photo August 12, 2018. Museu de Arte Moderna de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Exhibit: A Tale of Two Worlds, July 12, 2018- October 14, 2018 In a sprawling, cavernous art museum in Buenos Aires, I turned a corner and my eye caught on what […]

Ellen Powell Tiberino’s The Operation

Cody Ritz Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States   The Operation (1980), Ellen Powell Tiberino. Philadelphia Museum of Art: Purchased with the Julius Bloch Memorial Fund created by Benjamin D. Bernstein, 1990, 1990-116-1. Permission obtained through the Tiberino estate. In the graphite drawing by the late Ellen Powell Tiberino titled The Operation (1980), a tangled chaos emanates […]