Tag Archives: Sally Metzler

Portraits of vision: Sir Joshua Reynolds

Sally Metzler Chicago, Illinois, United States   Fig 1. Joshua Reynolds, Self Portrait, 1788, Royal Collection Trust, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The subject of this portrait wears wiry, diminutive round spectacles, lending a distinctly pedantic flair. Yet gazing out is none other than Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723 -1792), one of the greatest English painters in […]

Does art belong in a doctor’s office?

Sally Metzler Chicago, Illinois, United States   Does art belong in a doctor’s office? According to Sinclair Lewis, a resounding Yes!—so long as the art hangs on antiseptic white walls. In his 1925 novel Arrowsmith, Lewis described the ideal medical reception room—a combination of two warring schools of thought, the Tapestry and the Antiseptic. His […]

Gertrude Abercrombie: surrealist predilection and pancreatic affliction

Sally Metzler Chicago, Illinois, United States   Letter from Karl, c. 1940, Gertrude Abercrombie (1909-1977) Collection of the Union League Club of Chicago Chronic pancreatitis, longstanding inflammation of the pancreas, is most commonly caused by an excessive intake of alcohol.1 This was the case of Gertrude Abercrombie, who painted this cryptic, pseudo-surrealistic painting, Letter to Karl. […]

Dr. Pozzi at home: gynecologist, soldier, socialite

Sally Metzler Chicago, Illinois   Blessed with professional success and movie-star looks, Dr. Pozzi stands before us appearing regal in his red velvet dressing gown.  He was so admired for his sartorial élan that colleagues nicknamed him “The Siren.” The artist of this masterful portrait, legendary American expatriate John Singer Sargent, presents Pozzi devoid of […]

Saint Cajetan (St. Gaetano Thiene)

Sally Metzler Chicago, Illinois, United States   Theatiner Church, Munich Theatiner Church, Munich Saint Gaetano comforting a dying patient Sebastiano Ricci Brera Pinacoteca, Milano The cupola and two towers of the Theatiner Church in Munich rise high against the backdrop of the Alps in memory of Saint Cajetan. He is the patron saint of Argentina […]

Shepherd with a goiter

Sally Metzler Chicago, Illinois, United States  Nativity Moretto da Brescia Detail of Nativity Moretto da Brescia This beautiful scene of the Nativity by Moretto da Brescia (c. 1498-1554) in the Santa Giulia Museum of his native town is painted in muted autumnal colors of gold, browns, and greens. On the right the ox and the ass […]

Saint kills parents, erects hospital, and shares bed with a leper

Sally Metzler Chicago, Illinois, United States   Masolino da Panicale, Musée Ingres, Montauban. Fig. 1: Attributed to Franciabigio, c.1515, Philadelphia Museum of Art, John G. Johnson Collection, 1917.   The Italian Renaissance artist Franciabigio has illustrated a horrendous crime of passion (fig. 1). He depicted the moment when Saint Julian, consumed with false jealously, killed […]

Saint Sebastian nursed by Saint Irene

Sally Metzler Chicago, Illinois, United States   Saint Sebastian Cured by Irene Luca Giordano Philadelphia Museum of Art She wears neither latex gloves nor mask, yet Saint Irene performs surgery of the most epic kind, shown here pulling a deadly arrow from the thigh of Saint Sebastian. He was a Roman soldier who incurred the […]

Doctors as angels and devils

Sally Metzler Chicago, Illinois, United States The Physician as god, angel, man, and devil Four colored engravings, 1609 Johann Galle after Egbert van Panderen Collection of the Wellcome Institute, London   These four colored engravings from 1609 by Johann Gelle after the design of Egbert van Panderen tell the waxing and waning reputation of the […]

Distorting anatomy

Sally Metzler Chicago, Illinois, USA In this Mannerist painting of the deposition of Christ commissioned by the Capponi family for their burial chapel in Florence, high drama, distorted anatomy, and cool colors characterize this path-breaking composition. A grave attendant precariously squats on his tippy toes while impossibly bearing the weight of the dead, limp body […]