A man holding his nose to avoid breathing in a miasma. Drawing.
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This type of figure is found in 17th-century paintings and prints of the plague of Ashdod and in Michiel Sweerts's painting of the plague of Athens. See R. Burgess, "Notes on some plague paintings", Medical history, 1976, 20: 422-428. It is also found in other paintings in which the living are in proximity to cadavers from which miasma emanates, e.g. scenes of the raising of Lazarus from his grave