Tag Archives: painting

A plastic surgeon’s weeks in lockdown

Neha Chauhan Bangalore, Karnataka, India   As I tuned in to the announcement on March 24th, 2020 that India would be completely locked down for next three weeks to flatten the curve of coronavirus spread, my heart skipped a beat and then almost sank. I spent a sleepless night trying to understand my reaction of […]

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 […]

Richard Dadd: art and madness

JMS Pearce Hull, England   Portrait of British painter Richard Dadd (1817-1886) showing painting Contradiction: Oberon and Titania. Henry Hering. circa 1856. Source Unknown. Public Domain due to age. Is there anything so extravagant as the imaginations of men’s brains? Where is the head that has no chimeras in it? . . . Our knowledge, […]

A picture of ill-health: the illness of Elizabeth Siddal

Emily Boyle Dublin, Ireland   Fig. 1 Ophelia, Sir John Everett Millais 1851-2, Tate Britain, London It is difficult to think of Ophelia, one of Shakespeare’s most famous characters, without bringing to mind the famous depiction of her by John Everett Millais. In Hamlet, the sensitive and fragile Ophelia is driven mad by grief after […]

Passion, paint, and pain: the journey of Robert Seldon Duncanson

Mildred Wilson Detroit, MI, USA   Robert Seldon Ducanson Nineteenth Century African American Landscape Artist Lead poisoning (saturnism) has been present throughout history.1 Italian physician Bernardino Ramazzini is considered the first to have made the connection between paint and artists’ health. In his book De Morbis Artificum Diatriba published in 1700, he stated, “The many […]

George Stubbs—“horse painter” and anatomist

Nothing exemplifies more the French saying “on revient toujour a son premier amour” (one always returns to one’s first love) than the life of George Stubbs. Already at the age of eight he was sketching animal bones in his father’s tannery in Liverpool. Later, as a teenager, he was dissecting dogs and horses, then decided […]

Healing hidden wounds: a personal perspective

Jean Cozier Chicago, Illinois, USA   When we’re small and we hurt ourselves, we usually find ways to fix it.  We may cry a little, suck the wound, or run to Mommy so that she can kiss it and make it better. But what if we don’t know for sure we’ve been hurt?  If no […]

Painter, interrupted: Mary Cassatt and illness

Christoper Walker Bielsko-Biala, Poland   Self-portrait titled Portrait of the Artist, 1878, The Metropolitan Museum of Art The year is 1868, and the twenty-two year-old Mary Cassatt has had her first painting, The Mandolin Player, accepted by the famous Paris Salon. The painting is in the realist style and is reminiscent of Rembrandt’s 1659 Self-Portrait. The background […]