Tag Archives: barber-surgeon

Ambroise Pare: standard bearer for barber-surgery reform

Mildred Wilson Detroit, MI   Ambroise Pare, Posthumous, Fantasy Portrait by William Holl. Public Domain “There are five duties of surgery: to remove what is superfluous, to restore what has been dislocated, to separate what has grown together, to reunite what has been divided, and to redress the defects of nature.” -Ambroise Pare1 For centuries, […]

Did Macbeth have syphilis?

Eleanor J. Molloy Dublin, Ireland   Gerard De Lairesse suffered from congenital syphilis. Image: Portrait of Gerard de Lairesse. Rembrandt van Rijn. 1665–67. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Public Domain. Introduction Syphilis was endemic in Elizabethan England and it was estimated that nearly 20% of the population of London were infected.1 The signs and symptoms […]

The village surgeon

This painting, titled Village Surgeon, is rich in layers and details. In the center of the image the surgeon, quite likely a barber-surgeon, scrapes carefully at the skin of his patient. In the background, a workbench is covered in instruments, two other figures examine potential remedies, a broom is knocked over as if to indicate […]

Medieval medical diagrams: meanings, audiences, and functions

Sara Öberg Strådal United Kingdom   Diagrams are prevalent in many different types of medieval manuscripts; they are used to illustrate theological and moral concerns as well as scientific and medical theories. In religious manuscripts they have often been investigated and understood in terms of their mnemonic functions. For example, Lucy Freeman Sandler describes how […]