The author selected 48 works of art, famous and obscure, which are presented in chronological order as full-page color plates. On the facing page of each piece is a brief essay which includes information such as artist, date and current location of the work. The essays, as well as the introduction by the author, are insightful, well-written, and demonstrate the author’s vast knowledge as a medical historian. Selections include the "Oath of Hippocrates", Studies of the Fetus by da Vinci, The Anatomy Lesson of Nicolaes Tulp by Rembrandt, The Dwarf Sebastian de Morra by Velazquez, "Muscle-Man from Vesalius" by van Calcar, and First Operation Under Ether by Hinckley (see art annotation in this database).


This outstanding book is a valuable asset in the literature and medicine classroom or discussion group. The large size of the full-color reproductions and the comments which locate the pieces in their cultural and historical contexts are excellent. For example, Goya’s painting of a physician about to clear diphtherial membranes from a child’s throat can be shown when discussing William Carlos Williams's The Use of Force (annotated by Felice Aull, also annotated by Pamela Moore and Jack Coulehan in this database).


Hugh Lauter Levin Associates, distributed by Macmillan

Place Published

New York



Page Count