Tag Archives: Renaissance

Ghirlandaio, humanism, and truth: the portrait of an elderly man and young boy

Vincent P. de Luise New Haven, Connecticut, United States   Figure 1. Portrait of an Elderly Man and Child (Ritratto di un Vecchio e Nipote) Domenico Ghirlandaio, tempera on poplar panel. 1490. Louvre. Source. “. . . There is no more human a picture in the entire range of Quattrocento painting, whether in or out […]

Faith and patron saints during the Black Death

Mariella Scerri Mellieha, Malta   Saint Roch. 1502. Francesco Francia.  Metropolitan Museum of Art. Public Domain.  The Black Death of 1348 was the greatest biomedical disaster in European history. Although it was not the first plague epidemic, the Black Death swept through Europe, killing millions indiscriminately and affecting society like no other natural calamity.1 Attempts to understand the […]

Science versus religion: the medieval disenchantment

JMS Pearce Hull, England   Fig 1. An engraving showing a monopod or sclapod, a female Cyclops, conjoined twins, a blemmye, and a cynocephali. By Sebastian Münster 1544. Source History is a novel whose author is the people. -Alfred de Vigny (1797-1863)   In medieval times, knowledge, beliefs, and faith were largely centered upon a […]

Trying to conceive: royal fertility issues in Renaissance times

Julius P. Bonello Peoria, Illinois, United States   Photos by Julius Bonello Dynasties beget legacies. An enduring legacy is important to all great leaders. However, dynasties need time—time to accomplish major national objectives or memorable feats. Today that is why our elected officials, to pass on a lasting legacy, spend much of their time campaigning […]

What can physicians learn from Benjamin Rush, blood, and the Red Cross?

Ryan Hill Jamestown, Rhode Island, United States   Portrait by Charles Willson Peale, Benjamin Rush, circa 1818. Independence National Historical Park. Accessed via Wikimedia Commons. Despite the adamant opposition he encountered from many of his contemporaries, Dr. Benjamin Rush was undeterred; he was certain that bloodletting was the most prudent of all medical procedures and remained […]

Christopher Wren and Blood Circulation

Richard de Grijs Sydney, Australia Daniel Vuillermin Beijing, China   An early instance of blood transfusion from lamb to man. (Credit: Wellcome Collection. CC BY 4.0) “A young man of marvellous gifts who, when not yet sixteen years of age, advanced astronomy, gnomonics, statics, and mechanics by his distinguished discoveries, and from then on continues […]

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DA VINCI AT 500 Published in December, 2019 H E K T O R A M A     .   The year 2019 celebrates the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci, one of the greatest painters and polymaths of all time. Born near Florence in 1452, he moved to Milan at […]

It is good to be the king: the French surgical revolution

Julius Bonello S. Ayesha Hasan Peoria, Illinois, United States   Charles-François Tassy, Source: Wiki A belief held by the common people is that it is good to be royalty, a sentiment supported by descriptions in novels and depictions in movies. The best food, the finest clothes, and the most extravagant and opulent dwelling in the […]

Santa Maria Nuova: curing and caring

Michael Mortellaro Florida, USA   Replica of “The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp.” Originally by Rembrandt. Re-painted by Navid Eghbalieh, MD. The concept of a hospital for sick people first emerged in the western world in late medieval Italy. A prime example of this was the Florentine hospital Santa Maria Nuova, which the humanist […]

Signs of diseases in art

Chris Clark Exeter, United Kingdom   Lucrezia Vertova Agliardi by Giovanni Battista Moroni (1557) The Metropolitan Museum of Art “Every human being tells a story even if he never speaks.”1 Two paintings hang next to each other in the sumptuous Palazzo Doria Pamphilj in Rome: The Rest on the flight to Egypt and Penitent Magdalen. […]