Tag Archives: Art Flashes

Did Salvador Dali follow the prolactin discovery in his painting of the fountain of milk?

Michael Yafi Houston, Texas, United States   Salvador Dalí, Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí, Artists Rights Society © 2019 The Fountain of milk spreading itself uselessly on three shoes by Salvador Dali remains one of his most enigmatic works. It shows a nude woman on a pedestal, milk flowing from her breasts, while an emaciated man is […]

“The Sick Child” in Scandinavian art

Göran Wettrell Sweden   Figure 1. The Sick Child, Gabriel Metsu, 1660-65, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam Within Western figurative pictorial art there has long been an interest in showing sick children, their psychological attitudes, the effects on the family, and indeed the very reality of disease. One of the best known works on  this subject is by […]

Ford Madox Brown: his model and his medical grandfather

Few ladies would look their best when painted in bed with their hair down while recovering from a dangerous infection. But Emma Hill looks beautiful, resting, her coiffure immaculate, sheets unruffled, a flower in her hand. In 1848 while still in her teens, she had become the model and then mistress of Ford Madox Brown, […]

The old women of Francisco Goya

Time is running out for these two decrepit old crones who clearly have seen better days. In this 1820 painting titled El Tiempo, Francisco Goya shows the figure of Cronos hovering over the two women, ready to sweep them away with a broom into the memory of time. The woman in white, her face besmirched […]

The Plague of Ashdod, by Nicholas Poussin

The Plague of Ashdod, Poussin’s famous painting of 1630, is based on the Old Testament account of an epidemic affecting the Philistines after they had captured the Ark of the Covenant from the Israelites and moved it to their coastal city of Ashdod. According to Samuel 1:5, the Lord first destroyed the statue of their […]

The Bitter Potion, by Adriaen Brouwer

  It has long been the belief of the prescribing professions that medicines work better if they can impress the recipients by their efficacy. A painful injection may thus work better than a painless one, and an intramuscular injection of ascorbic acid will remind the patient of its continuing efficacy for at least one week. […]

Adriaen Brouwer: surgery in the tavern

Adriaen Brouwer (1605/6-1638) was a Flemish Baroque painter who specialized in genre scenes, particularly in taverns. He favored humble, unkempt peasants engaged in various activities, from drunken brawls to fireside chats. In these paintings the village barber-surgeons are shown performing operations on the back and the foot of peasants, who wince from a procedure done […]

A man with a psychotic disorder by Diego Velazquez

Fernando Forcén Chicago, Illinois, United States   Jester named Don Juan de Austria by Diego Velazquez El Prado Museum, Madrid Source: wikimedia commons During the modern era, kings employed jesters for the entertainment of monarchs and their guests. These jesters were often people with mental illnesses or congenital metabolic diseases. They were payed for their […]

Child’s play and art

Bojana Cokíc Zajecar, Serbia   Childhood is an important time of learning and development. Play is the work of childhood, affecting sensorimotor, cognitive, emotional, moral, and social development.1 Children have always played.3 Throughout history, children’s games have changed with the social environment. In past centuries, children’s play began in the evening, on the street, after girls […]

Illness or Intoxication? Diagnosing a French clown 

Sally Metzler Chicago, Illinois, USA In his day, Thomas Couture was a renowned history painter, though his students would later surpass him in fame—the likes of Edouard Manet and John Lafarge. Born in the small French town of Senlis, his parents moved to Paris when he was a child so he could study art. He […]