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A surgeon binding up a woman's arm after bloodletting. Oil painting by Jacob Toorenvliet, 1666.

  • Toornvliet, Jacob, 1635-1719.
  • Pictures

Selected images from this work

About this work


Bloodletting from a vein was recommended when the hot and the wet were considered excessive, either in the body as a whole or in a particular part of the body. The surgeon would typically pierce a vein with the tip of a lancet-blade, and collect the blood in a bowl. Two such bowls are shown on the table in the painting. The surgeon is either undoing a tourniquet which was used to collect the blood in the forearm, or bandaging the incision

Physical description

1 painting : oil on copper ; copper 50.4 x 39.9 cm


J Toorenvliet inventor et fecit A. 1666

References note

Corrado Lavini, Medicina ed arti figurative: due mondi affascinanti, un rapporto profondo e complesso, Modena 2009, p. 97 (reproduced)


Wellcome Library no. 44999i

Exhibitions note

Exhibited in "Medicine Man" at Wellcome Collection, 26 March - 4 November 2018

Where to find it

  • LocationStatusAccess
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    OpenOnline request

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