Diagnosing 1800s Illnesses Through Period Medical Illustrations

L0074846 Tubercular leprosy on the hand

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.

V0009620 Head of a man with a skin disease on his


L0061144 Patient affected with ichthyosis hystrix

Via Vice.

This entry was posted in History, Science, Visual Art by Heretic. Bookmark the permalink.

About Heretic

I design video games for a living, write fiction, political theory and poetry for personal amusement, and train regularly in Western European 16th century swordwork. On frequent occasion I have been known to hunt for and explore abandoned graveyards, train tunnels and other interesting places wherever I may find them, but there is absolutely no truth to the rumor that I am preparing to set off a zombie apocalypse. Nothing that will stand up in court, at least. I use paranthesis with distressing frequency, have a deep passion for history, anthropology and sociological theory, and really, really, really hate mayonnaise. But I wash my hands after the writing. Promise.

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