Browse Items (74 total)

DissectingRm_crop3.jpg
Rowlandson’s depiction of a working anatomy laboratory reflects the popular view of physicians as ghoulish and disrespectful of death. The doctor and his busy staff are conducting at least two dissections, one in the foreground and one in the…

Vesalius_1543_6v.tif
The great anatomist Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564) complained about the damaged reputation of medicine in his preface to De Fabrica Corporis Humani. Vesalius blamed the profession itself for abandoning standards deserving of the public trust: “But it…

Enraged Son of Mars (2).jpg
In The Enraged Son of Mars and Timid Tonsor, Rowlandson criticizes barber-surgeons who can barely offer a safe shave or haircut but claim to have enough skills to treat the sick and injured. The angry customer, a military officer who has removed his…

Macassar Oil (2).jpg
In Macassar Oil, an apothecary vendor pours oil on a bald man’s head, while a woman behind them looks shocked at the reflection of her hair standing on end. A sign on the rear wall advertises a miracle product: “Macassar Oil, for the Growth of…

Bath Races (2).jpg
During the 18th century the city of Bath became a fashionable tourist attraction by reputation of its spas. Fed by geothermal mineral springs, the hot sulfuric water at Bath was alleged to heal a variety of illnesses and infirmities. “Taking the…

Hogarth Cruelty Yale (2).jpg
In the engraving entitled The Reward of Cruelty, the English artist William Hogarth (1697-1764), demonstrates the popular view of 18th century- medicine as a ghoulish occupation involving skeletons, cauldrons of boiling bones, and buckets of…

A Going (2).jpg
In A Going! A Going!, a physician, himself rosy-cheeked, well-fed, and hence well-paid, visits an sickly patient too ill to leave his bedroom. A list of prescriptions on the table and a collection of medications on the window sill indicate that an…

Medical Dispatch (2).jpg
While the physician in A Going! A Going! is more concerned with making money than healing patients, Doctor Doubledose allows the pleasures of the flesh to override his responsibilities to the sick. In this print the lustful physician shows no…

Giving up the Ghost (2).jpg
As in Hogarth’s Reward of Cruelty, the physician in Giving up the Ghost or One Too Many is associated with corpses, skeletons, and death. While the sleeping doctor is oblivious to everything, his patient succumbs in spite of discarded medications…

Dropsy Courting Consumption (2).jpg
During the 18th and 19th centuries certain illnesses became markers of affluence and refinement. Consumption (tuberculosis), was associated with delicate femininity or Romantic sensibility. This print portrays a courting couple, destined for the…
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