Richard Barnett’s new book, The Sick Rose: Disease and the Art of Medical Illustration, collects some of the best examples of medical illustration from the late 18th to early 20th centuries.
During this era artists played a huge role in medical education. The disease-riddled patients and body parts they illustrated were used to teach students how to recognize and treat every ailment known to man.
In the early 1800s doctors started cracking open dead bodies left and right and commissioning artists to document what they found inside. [A] catalog of illustrated internal body parts began to form, many of which are reprinted in The Sick Rose.