This abundantly illustrated volume offers an exploration of the depictions of illness and healing in Western artworks that range from Egyptian wall carvings to medieval manuscripts, and from paintings and sculpture by the great masters of the Renaissance such as Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci to twentieth-century artists such as Matisse and Magritte.
Thematic chapters cover the examination of patients and their various maladies including disabilities and mental illnesses; healing and medical treatments; and the sufferings of patients and their hopes for cures and recovery. Psychological anguish—as represented in The Expulsion of Adam and Eve by Masaccio and Munch's The Scream—is treated along with the physical manifestations of pain.
This volume, the seventeenth in the popular Guide to Imagery series, offers analyses by both an art historian and a practicing physician who comment, respectively, on the cultural context in which specific artworks were created and the level of technical knowledge available at that time, an approach that makes for a fascinating look at a topic that has figured frequently in the Western artistic tradition.
Giorgio Bordin is a physician and the director of the Sanitario dell'Ospedale Piccole Figlie in Parma, Italy. Laura Polo D'Ambrosio is an art historian.