Tag Archives: Summer 2018

Jan Steen: quack doctors visit lovesick maidens

Like his contemporary Molière, the Dutchman Jan Steen makes fun of quack doctors, often shown in ridiculous costumes visiting young love-sick or pregnant women. In the Lovesick Maiden (Fig.1, Metropolitan Museum) the diagnosis is suggested by the painting of a Cupid above the door, the bed on the right, and the bed-warmer on the lower […]

The arrival of the black horse

Kevin R. Loughlin Boston, Massachusetts, United States   Four horsemen of Apocalypse (1887) by Viktor Vasnetsov When He broke the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying, “Come.”  I looked and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard something […]

Anatomy plates: more shocking than useful

Jacques Fabien Gautier D’Agoty (1716–1785) was born in Marseilles and learned color printing in Frankfurt while working for Jacob Christoph Le Blond, the man who had invented this process. Perhaps anticipating his later conduct, D’Agoty claimed after Le Blond’s death to have made this invention himself. Moving to Paris in 1736, he had the idea […]

Not just a fad diet

Jessica A. Ness Aberdeen, South Dakota, United States   “You just ate chocolate cake.” Photo by Jessica A. Ness Gluten is the new answer to all that is wrong with what people are eating. You want to lose weight? Go gluten free. You cannot sleep, have frequent stomach aches, or want to rule the world? […]

Mushrooms

Agata Brewer Crawfordsville, Indiana, United States   A bored teenage Santa holds two small girls on his lap. One is dressed as a queen in a yellow handmade crown and crape-paper cape. The other girl is the author, dressed as a poisonous mushroom. The cheerful-looking costume hides the truth of a mushroom that releases a […]

A CV for posterity

Anthony Papagiannis Thessaloniki, Greece   Lonely tree with timber by Anthony Papagiannis The British Medical Journal (BMJ) is one of the oldest and most eminent general medical journals. Among its many and varied features is a regular obituaries page. Departed members of all branches of the medical profession, academic teachers, researchers and Nobel Prize winners, […]

The art of not eating

Ammar Saad Ottawa, Ontario, Canada     A typical post-feast Ramadan table. Dessert is saturated in qatr, a 1:1 ratio of water and sugar infused with rose water (right). Fasting has been considered a devoted act of worship for centuries.1 It unifies people of different languages, ethnicities, and socioeconomic status in many world religions. Intentionally silencing […]

Medicinal and historical value of Chinese food therapy

Kelly Chen Birmingham, Alabama, USA   In front of a screen sits a patient who is suffering from vomiting brought on by eating mutually antagonistic foods. A doctor, seated on the left, is explaining to the patient about food incompatibilities. Ming period (1368-1644) Persimmon: cold, sweet, astringent. It opens up the nose and the qi […]

Art therapy: a historical perspective

Mirjana Stojkovic-Ivkovic Belgrade, Serbia   Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901) Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec – Portrait de Suzanne Valadon (1885)   Art therapy is a form of psychotherapy that uses the creation of art to help resolve psychopathological conflicts. It helps people to identify psychological weaknesses and see problems from a different perspective, enabling them to escape from […]

The Irish famine: catastrophe, diaspora, and redemption

Kevin R. Loughlin Boston, Massachusetts, United States   Famine sculpture in Dublin Tensions between the English and the Irish date back to at least the time of Prince John Lackland, who was made Lord of Ireland by his father, Henry II of England in 1177.1 Anti-Catholic sentiments were pronounced by Oliver Cromwell after his invasion […]