A "theatre" of medicine and surgery. Watercolour by Johann Heinrich Ramberg, ca. 1800.

Credit: Wellcome Collection

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An horrific omnium gatherum of the "heroic" medical and surgical treatments typical of establishment medicine around the time of the French Revolution. Two amputations are taking place. A friar holds a crucifix before the patient on the right. Near the middle, a woman with one exposed breast has a pair of amulets dangled before her eyes by a theurgist friar: perhaps she is portrayed as the next candidate for surgery (mastectomy). The setting is a hospital of the grandest kind: Christine Stevenson's 'Medicine and magnificence : British hospital and asylum architecture, 1660-1815', New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000, discusses the rationales in Britain of such palatial buildings

Physical description

1 drawing : pen and grey ink and watercolour over pencil ; sheet 29.5 by 43.2 cm

Work type



  • [1800?]

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A "theatre" of medicine and surgery. Watercolour by Johann Heinrich Ramberg, ca. 1800..{' '} Credit: Wellcome Collection. CC BY


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