Tag Archives: Art Essays

Letters from the asylum

Nicholas Kang Auckland, New Zealand   Asylum of Saint-Paul-de-Mausol, Provence France After cutting off his ear, Vincent van Gogh spent a year in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence confined to a mental asylum. Despite several major relapses during his stay, he continued to work prolifically, completing more than 140 paintings including masterpieces such as Starry Night, Irises, and Almond […]

The beauty of nature and the nature of beauty

Michael Baum London, England   Fig. 1 The Death of Procris, A Satyr mourning over a Nymph, Piero di Cosimo, (c. 1495) Do not all charms fly / At the mere touch of cold philosophy? / There was an awful rainbow once in heaven: / We know her woof, her texture; she is given / In the […]

The art of consumption – TB and John Lavery

Emily Boyle Belfast, Northern Ireland   1. “The sick child” Tuberculosis, (TB) is often regarded as a historical disease—in the 1880’s it caused a quarter of all deaths in the UK. Mortality rates from TB fell by 17% between 2005 and 2015,1 but it remains an important health concern. Worldwide it is still the second most […]

Manga as medical critique

Adil Menon Cleveland, Ohio, United States   Osama Tezuka 1951 “Godfather of Manga” Stark lines are often drawn in American and European literature between graphic novels, which cater primarily to adults, and comics, which despite their broad appeal are perceived as being meant for younger audiences. No such dichotomy exists within the Japanese medium of […]

Death by Dysentery? Artist Frank Russell Wadsworth in Madrid

Sally Metzler Chicago, Illinois, United States   Frank Russell Wadsworth (1874-1905) A River Lavadero, 1905, Oil on canvas, Union League Club Chicago Though he basked in the Spanish sun, the summer warmth would be his downfall, indeed his early death. Artist Frank Russell Wadsworth of Chicago gravitated towards the vivid colors and picturesque river banks […]

Portraiture in the head and neck cancer clinic: A patient’s perspective

Mark Gilbert Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada James E. Van Arsdall Omaha, Nebraska, United States   Figure 1. Jim, 2014, Charcoal on Paper, University of Nebraska Medical Center. I first met Scottish artist Mark Gilbert in 2013 as a participant in his Ph.D. dissertation study, “The Experience of Portraiture in Clinical Settings” [EPICS]. I was introduced […]

Alcohol and the art of David Teniers Jr.

Mirjana Stojkovic – Ivkovic Belgrade, Serbia   Fig 1. Smokers and drinkers, Museo del Prado, Madrid (this picture makes fun of human frailties, stupidity and vices.) David Teniers the Younger (1610-1690) was one of the most prolific and versatile Flemish artists. About 2000 pictures have been attributed to him, including replicas and copies, and at […]

Mixing medicine – religion and science

Aneesa Bodiat South Africa   A variety of dates, delicious fresh or as a dried fruit, are grown in desert areas. The ameer chewed on the dry date my husband had presented to him, saying a prayer and then placing the chewed fruit back into the container, sealing it for use in a few days […]

The Isenheim Altarpiece and ‘homeopathic’ hospital art

Katrina Genuis Canada   Figure 1: Isenheim Altarpiece, First View. Matthias Grünewald, 1512-1516. Unterlindin Museum, Colmar, France. Source. Art found in hospitals generally has the aim of comforting the viewer. Presumably, ill patients or exhausted on-call physicians who amble past pastoral countryside scenes or watercolour flowers are reminded that despite their current difficultly there is […]

Finding a Voice

Ruth Margalit Christopher Leet Omaha, Nebraska, United States   Erin Reets, a resident of the Siena/Francis House (SFH) homeless shelter, came in to discuss a medical problem with a doctor at the shelter clinic. Having addressed the medical problem, the doctor sat down and asked Erin to tell his story: How long had he been […]