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Dr Sangrado taking the pulse of a sick clergyman. Engraving by Thurston, 1802, after C. Warren after A. Le Sage.

  • Le Sage, Alain René, 1668-1747.
Date
1802
Reference
659141i
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view Dr Sangrado taking the pulse of a sick clergyman. Engraving by Thurston, 1802, after C. Warren after A. Le Sage.

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Credit: Dr Sangrado taking the pulse of a sick clergyman. Engraving by Thurston, 1802, after C. Warren after A. Le Sage. Wellcome Collection. Public Domain Mark

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Description

In Le Sage's picaresque novel Gil Blas, Gil Blas is the servant to canon Sedillo of Valladolid. In Gil Blas book II, chapter 2, the canon overeats and has gout. A fever takes him, aggravating his gout, on which, the first time in his life, he summons Dr Sangrado, the Hippocrates of Valladolid. Sangrado finds arrested transpiration. To compensate for the defect, he recommends, in preference to purges and sudorifics, a plain diet; drinking of water instead of wine; and copious bloodletting by a surgeon. At the end of the chapter the canon dies from the effects of the treatment

The editor of the Paris 1821 edition proposed that Sangrado was modelled on [Philippe] Hecquet, dean of the Paris Faculty of Medicine, "qui fit maigre toute sa vie et ne but jamais que de l'eau" (vol. 2, p. 115). He notes that in Spanish sangrado means let of blood. Possibly bloodletter (sangrador) was intended. The text of Gil Blas does not say that Sangrado took the canon's pulse: it says he observed him and then asked him questions about his diet and age

The canon is very fat and the doctor very thin. The canon rests his gouty foot on a stool. Sangrado has a cane, is dressed in black, and has waxed moustaches. In the background, Jacinte watches Gil Blas carry in a pail of steaming liquid

Publication/Creation

[London] (Poultry) : Vernor & Hood, 1802.

Physical description

1 print : line engraving and etching ; image and border 13.7 x 9.4 cm

Lettering

Dr Sangrado visits the canon. Book 2. Chap. 2. Thurston del. ; C. Warren sculp.

Reference

Wellcome Library no. 659141i

Type/Technique

Languages

  • English


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