Tag Archives: Art Essays

Strabismo di Venere—Michelangelo’s David

Kevin R. Loughlin Boston, Massachusetts, United States   Figure 1: Eyes of David. Photo by George M. Groutas. 2019. Via Wikimedia. CC BY 2.0. It is one of the most recognizable sculptures in Western art, the work of an acclaimed Renaissance artist. For over 600 years, it has been viewed by millions of tourists and […]

The Potato Eaters: brushstrokes of sickness and sustenance

Jeanne Dsouza Manipal, India   Figure 1. Portrait of The Potato Eaters showing 5 members of a family around a table eating potatoes and sipping coffee, four of whom have skin eruptions and limb changes suggestive of leprosy. One wants to be an honest man, one is so, one works as hard as a slave but […]

Art appreciation under the radar

Lawrence Climo Lincoln, Massachusetts, United States   Photo by Matheus Viana from Pexels I was on my way to an art gallery in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, to view the art of a painter who once lived there, Normal Rockwell. On the way, I stopped first at an exhibit at a local psychiatric hospital where I had […]

Art and alcohol

Giovanni Ceccarelli Roma, Italy   Fig. 1: Drinking Bacchus. Guido Reni, 1623, Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden. Via Wikimedia. In the late 1940s Elaine de Kooning, wife of one of the most eminent exponents of American abstract expressionism (Willem de Kooning), commented that the whole art world of her time had become alcoholic. Yet even earlier, perhaps […]

The striking social tableaux vivants of Lejaren à Hiller (1920s to 1940s)

J.T.H. Connor St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada   A social tableau vivant by Lejaren à Hiller dated 1935 illustrating his characteristic dramatic photographic style and striking compositions depicting a medical hero, the human body, and often religious icons. The signature of the photographer/artist is visible in the lower left corner of the image. From “Sutures in […]

Diego Rivera and Hernan Cortes

Nicolas Robles Badajoz, Spain   The author in Guadalupe, Mexico, with two local guides (on the left) and a Texan friend (on the right). Photo courtesy of the author. Diego Rivera was one of Mexico’s most famous artists. Nowadays he is also known for his marriage to Frida Kahlo, another great Mexican artist. Born in […]

Abram Belskie: sculptor of medical medallions

Enrique Chaves-Carballo Kansas City, Kansas, United States   Abram Belskie at work (circa 1948). Personal collection, Belskie Family. Via Wikimedia. Abram Belskie was born in London on March 27, 1907. He studied painting and sculpture at the Glasgow School of Art and received a scholarship to further his studies in Europe. In 1929 he moved […]

Tobias and the Angel—miracle or medical?

Elizabeth Colledge  Jacksonville, Florida, United States   Tobias and the Angel. Workshop of Andrea del Verrocchio. between circa 1470 and circa 1475. The National Gallery. Via Wikimedia. Admirers of Andrea del Verrocchio’s painting Tobias and the Angel (circa 1470-1475) may be unaware of the purpose of Tobias’s journey with the archangel Raphael. The Book of […]

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 […]