In the 19th century, doctors couldn’t use photographs to teach their students to distinguish between benign or cancerous growths. Or how teeth looked in patients affected by hereditary syphilis. Or the stages of cholera.
So the physicians, surgeons, and anatomists of the 1800s built close relationships with artists, craftsmen, and publishers to produce beautiful (yet horrifically off-putting at times) illustrations. In The Sick Rose: Disease and the Art of Medical Illustration, Richard Barnett collects up the best examples of these images. They—and the accompanying chapters of text, organized by disease—are endlessly fascinating.
Excerpted from The Sick Rose: Disease and the Art of Medical Illustration, by Richard Barnett, published this month by Distributed Art Publishers.
VIA: Awesomely Gross Medical Illustrations From the 19th Century | Science | WIRED.