Tag Archives: Winter 2019

Honoré Fragonard anatomist: artistic embalmer

Honoré Fragonard (1732–1799), cousin of the much more famous Rococo painter, trained to be a surgeon but then pursued a career as an anatomist. He first worked in Lyon at the world’s first veterinary school, then served for six years as director of the veterinary school established by Louis XV in 1765 in a suburb […]

Rachel Fleming and the non-reality of “racial types”

Barry Bogin United Kingdom   Human “races” as depicted in the 19th century Nordisk familjebok  (Nordic Family Book Encyclopedia). Each person in the painting depicts one “race” of Asiatic people. Today, anthropologists and biologist reject such “race” categorization. The differences between human groups are better ascribed to biological plasticity. During the early twentieth century several […]

A bit of irony: Sir William Wilde and Oscar Wilde

James Franklin Chicago, Illinois, United States   Portrait of Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) in New York, 1882. Early in the afternoon of November 30, 1900, thirty-six hours after he had lapsed into a coma, a man named Sebastian Melmoth died at the Hotel d’Alsace in the Rue des Beaux Art. His assumed name eluded few as […]

Qatar’s Sidra Hospital and Damien Hirst’s Miraculous Journey

Sally Metzler Chicago, IL, USA Amazing, inspiring art and architecture seem to appear almost daily in Doha, Qatar, the host city of the 2024 World Cup. The Sidra Hospital for women and children soars among the many shining examples of architecture throughout this small Middle Eastern Gulf country. The building is graceful and sleek. Interior […]

Medicine in Greek mythology

JMS Pearce Hull, England, UK Fig. 1 Caduceus and Asclepian single serpent Some of the earliest ideas about health and disease lie in Greek mythology. The Greeks of prehistory told, retold, and often remoulded their tales of immortal gods and goddesses that were imaginative, symbolic creations. Stories of the gods probably started with Minoan and […]

Charlotte Perkins Gilman, apostle of women’s liberation

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, Charlotte Perkins Gilman wrote much about the state of women in society, publishing the still widely acclaimed short story, The Yellow Wallpaper (1892). She also wrote other essays, somewhat colored by her own life experiences. Her father had left his family when she and her brother were […]

Antonio Valsalva of the maneuver (1666-1723)

Antonio Valsalva qualified in medicine at the University of Bologna in 1687 after studying under Marcello Malpighi, one of the first people to use microscopy in medicine. Valsalva succeeded him in 1697 as professor of anatomy and later of surgery and was also surgeon to the hospital for incurables and mentally ill in Bologna. He […]

Three doctor’s visits

Zara Aziz Bristol, England   The Cathedral by Auguste Rodin. 1908. Musée Rodin. Photograph by Daniel Stockman. 2010. CC BY-SA 2.0. Only one week ago Yasmin had been at the same flats to see her patient, Jenny Johnson. Jenny was a lovely lady of around fifty-two, with a lilting Irish accent and a penchant for saving […]

TB-AIDS diary

Linda Troeller New York, NY, USA   The TB-AIDS Diary was created in 1987 to address issues of stigma, comparing the response to patients with tuberculosis in the 1930s with the reaction to patients with AIDS in the 1980’s. Tuberculosis was used as a metaphor for the stigma surrounding contagious diseases and treated primarily as […]

William Heberden on angina pectoris, 1772

  “There is a disorder of the breast marked with strong and peculiar symptoms, considerable for the kind of danger belonging to it, and not extremely rare . . . The seat of it and the sense of strangling and anxiety with which it is attended, may make it not improperly be called angina pectoris. […]