Synopses & Reviews
Since ancient times people have depended on medical practitioners to enhance life, to treat illness and injuries, and to help reduce pain and suffering. The scientifically based discipline that we know today stands beside diverse traditions, belief systems, and bodies of medical knowledge that have evolved in fascinating ways across cultures and continents. Throughout this history, successive generations have created artistic representations of these varied aspects of medicine, illustrating instruction manuals, documenting treatments, and creating works of art that enable individuals to express their feelings and ideas about medicine, health, and illness. From ancient wall paintings and tomb carvings to sculpture, installations, and digitally created artworks, the results are extraordinary and pay tribute to how medicine has affected our lives and the lives of our ancestors.and#160;and#160;
Drawing on the remarkable holdings of the Wellcome Collection in London, The Art of Medicine offers a unique gallery of rarely seen paintings, artifacts, drawings, prints, and extracts from manuscripts and manuals to provide a fascinating visual insight into our knowledge of the human body and mind, and how both have been treated with medicine. Julie Anderson, Emm Barnes, and Emma Shackleton take readers on a fascinating visual journey through the history of medical practice, exploring contemporary biomedical images, popular art, and caricature alongside venerable Chinese scrolls, prehistoric Mesoamerican drawings, paintings of the European Renaissance, medieval Persian manuscripts, and more. The result is a rare and remarkable visual account of what it was and is to be human in sickness and health.
"This astonishingly various visual encyclopedia, a fraction of the collection of the Wellcome Trust's million objects (the trust is a British medical research foundation) represents a wunderkammer focused on multifarious cross-cultural representations of the human body in anatomical studies, etchings, paintings, and advertisements. The book is organized thematically into six chapters about the body, medicine, disease, surgery, mental illness, and preventive medicine; each is replete with images accompanied by informative texts. Most fascinating are the sections on medicine, healing, and belief in ancient Egypt and Greece; traditional Chinese demon masks to scare off disease-causing evil spirits; and Christian imagery of, for example, a saint healing through touch and faith. The treatment of mental illness is illustrated with images from London's notoriously brutal Bethlem Royal hospital (the original Bedlam). Several sections, particularly on anatomy and surgery, are not for the fainthearted. Compiled by medical historian Anderson, Royal Holloway University science outreach officer Barnes, and visual arts writer Shackleton, this visually arresting, wide-ranging, and informative collection pre-sents an encyclopedic global history of the body, illness, and medicine. 350 color and 50 b&w illus., all very well reproduced." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
and#8220;Portrayals of our grapplings with disease pop up throughout history. Medical historian Julie Anderson, with science communicators Emm Barnes and Emma Shackleton, survey a range of works from London's Wellcome Collection that highlight medical practices, including paintings, anatomical drawings, scrolls and digital art. Two millennia of visual exploration from cultures such as ancient Persia and Renaissance Europe provide a stunning overview of how ideas about healing the body and mind have evolved.and#8221;
andldquo;Lucid, panoramic, and erudite. . . . The Art of Medicine make[s] a compelling case for the value of medical history and the medical humanitiesandmdash;not merely as an adjunct to the triumphs and travails of the medical profession, but as the best window we have on humanityandrsquo;s efforts to comprehend its own condition.andrdquo;
andldquo;[T]his visually arresting, wide-ranging, and informative collection presents an encyclopedic global history of the body, illness, and medicine.andrdquo;
andquot;The Art of Medicine
deserves to be lauded for the variety and visual clarity of its images. The juxtaposition of ancient and modern, realistic and abstract, primitive and academic images reminds the reader of the numerous ways in which the body's structure and functions have been represented over time.andquot;
andldquo;If pictures really were worth a thousand words, the selections contained here would equate to volumes of writingsandmdash;serious, graphic novel, humorous, mysterious, fear-riddled, and awe-inspired. . . . With The Art of Medicine: Over 2,000 Years of Images and Imagination
on your lap, a faraway gallery is made availableandmdash;a gallery in which the past and the current worlds appear, both filtered through the art of medicine.andrdquo;
andldquo;[V]isually stunning. . . . The book would be a useful addition to public libraries with art or medical collections, and would serve the undergraduate as well as the graduate student.andrdquo;
andldquo;[A] visual treat. . . . Anderson, Barnes, and Shackleton have created an incredible window into a major collection of immense importance featuring many rare and never before published objects, ephemera, and artwork. [The Art of Medicine] is a crossover book of great value to medical and art historians, ethnologists, and graphic designers. Highly recommended.andrdquo;
andldquo;[V]isually luxurious. . . . [The Art of Medicine] is a and#160;dramatic sojourn chronicling grotesque, burlesque, and beautiful representations of the human experience of visceral existence and transformations in the depiction of its meaning, understanding, and intellectual significance in historical cultures.andrdquo;
About the Author
is a science outreach officer with Royal Holloway, University of London.Emm Barnes
is a science outreach officer with Royal Holloway, University of London.
Emma Shackleton is an editor and writer specializing in the visual arts who has worked with the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery in London.