Tag Archives: Summer 2018

Edvard Munch: sickness and death

The Sick Child In Death in the Sickroom These two paintings by the famous Norwegian artist Edvard Munch (1863-1944) reflect his lifelong melancholia and obsession with sickness and death. This has been attributed to his childhood experiences of his father’s drifting towards insanity, his mother’s death from tuberculosis, and the later death of two siblings […]

Los Caprichos

De que mal morira (Of what ill will he die?) This is engraving number 40 from the Los Caprichos series by Francisco de Goya, published in 1799 and showing a donkey as a doctor attending a dying man in his bed. The doctor wears a watch to count the patient’s pulse but not a stethoscope because […]

Our recipes reflect our genetic makeup

Margit Burmeister Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States   Central European recipes often call for soft cheese, such as the filling of this dish known as Topfenpalatschinken in Austria, cheese blintzes in Israel and the US, and crêpes au fromage in France. Europeans eat cream, yogurt, and lots of cheese. Middle Eastern and Indian cuisine feature […]

The Bride in Death

  Thomas Jones Barker Victoria Art Gallery, Bath and North East Somerset Council Thomas Jones Barker (1815–1882) was an English painter born at Bath and educated by his father. In 1834, at age nineteen, he went to Paris to study under the French artist Horace Vernet. During his time in Paris he exhibited several historical […]

Unlocking the secrets of longevity: the potential of Cannonau

Samuele Cannas Pisa, Italy   Bunch of Cannonau Grapes Ampélographie Viala et Vermorel   “O gentlemen, the time of life is short!/To spend that shortness basely were too long,/If life did ride upon a dial’s point,/Still ending at the arrival of an hour.” – William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part I, Act V, scene 2   […]

The health food crusade and the super-food saint: exploring the discourse of healthy eating

Alice Ryrie Manchester, United Kingdom   Fig 1. Baptism (Purity), 2015 In our increasingly secular society, the value of health is rising. Moral values that used to be dominated by religion are now a matter of health: “in many ways the church has been replaced by the gymnasium.”1 Due to the rising pressure to be […]

Food colors: a history of food in art and literature

Sayantu Basu Kolkata, West Bengal, India   The Colors of Feast: Still Life with Fruits, Nuts and Cheese  Floris van Dijck, Frans Hals Museum, Harleem, Netherlands “Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity.” This is how Voltaire upholds the significance […]

“It’s vinegar saved her”: folk medicine, food, and the flu in A Time of Angels

Rachel Conrad Bracken Rootstown, Ohio, USA   The “D.I.Y. Bragg Apple Cider Drink,” a mixture of water, vinegar, and a natural sweetener, like honey, is “important to the Bragg Healthy Lifestyle.” The publication of Karen Hesse’s young adult novel, A Time of Angels (1997), coincides with a renewed interest in the history of the 1918–1919 […]

Informed consent

Charles H. Halsted Davis, California, USA   Autopsy at the Hôtel-Dieu (1876) by Henri Gervex Outlined by the glimmer of eastern sun, the head nurse says: “One of your patients passed around four. His body has been sent to the hospital morgue.” You are the intern, first up on the ward to see all the patients […]

Tales out of medical school

Charles H. Halsted Davis, California, USA   University of Rochester School of Medicine, 1958 In first-year anatomy class, I shared a rectangular metal table with three other twenty-one-year-old men and our assigned corpse, a blank-eyed, obese, and lifeless white seventyish woman. Half of my classmates were former Eastern prep school boys, the others mostly Jewish […]