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A woman (Yang She), facing front, with a massive pendent tumour hanging down from her neck. Gouache, 18--, after Lam Qua, 1837.

Lam, Qua.
Date
[after 1837]
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view A woman (Yang She), facing front, with a massive pendent tumour hanging down from her neck. Gouache, 18--, after Lam Qua, 1837.

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Credit: A woman (Yang She), facing front, with a massive pendent tumour hanging down from her neck. Gouache, 18--, after Lam Qua, 1837. Credit: Wellcome Collection. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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About this work

Description

Described in Peter Parker's notebook, case no. 3790, June 19 1837: 'Yang She, aged 20, of Hua yuen, had a tumor pendulous from the chin and larynx. It commenced ten years since, and the last six years had been very cumbersome. The atttachment beneath the chin was five inches in circumference. Centrally and horizontally it measured two feet three inches, and vertically three feet two inches. It extended below the umbilicus, but not so as to rest in the lap; consequently its weight was sustained by its attachment, and the patient had to sit constantly in a bracing posture, to prevent its drawing down her head. The normal features were distorted, the cheeks drawn tense by the weight of the tumor. The muscles on the back of the neck were preternaturally large,having been in constant action. ... A native practitioner has applied a ligature which remained sufficiently long to produce a permanent circular scar ... The pain must have been great ... being in her fifth month, the case was the more critical. The tumour was removed in 12 seconds ... was as distinct from the surrounding parts as an egg from its nest.' From a subsequent report: 'It was in the warm month of June when she first came to the hospital, the thermometer averaging 96 degrees in the shade. About to embark for Lew-chew in Japan, I advised her to defer the operation until the cold weather of autumn. But no delay could be acceded to on the part of the patient and her venerable grandfather. The tumor was removed. The operation was performed in about two minutes. The tumor weighted sixteen pounds. In ten days the wound was healed. In December, after my return from Japan (December 17, 1837), the patient returned to the hospital to express her gratitude, and brought with her her first-born son, a fine infant of six weeks old'--Rachman, loc. cit.

She wears earrings, as in the Yale version but not in the Gordon Museum version

'Yang She's "venerable grandfather," Yung Yute, offered Dr. Parker the following poetic tribute "The autumnal marigold emits its fragrance and reflects its fresh tints, whilst I bring some trifling articles to repay your kindness, for having, of your deep skill, restored my grand-daughter to health. May your name, sir, be transmitted to posterity for a thousand ages, and may the benefits bestowed last ten thousand years! Yung yute of Hua yuen, knocks his head and pays his respects.'--Rachman, loc. cit.

Publication/Creation

[after 1837]

Physical description

1 painting : gouache ; sheet 51.8 x 33.3 cm

Contributors

Publications note

Stephen D. Rachman, The mysteries of Lam Qua: medical portraiture in China 1836-1855, website, http://www.historicalvoices.org/lamqua/index.php (accessed 30 July 2004)
Sander L. Gilman, 'Lam Qua and the development of a westernized medical iconography in China', Medical history, 1986, 30: 57-69; Larissa N. Heinrich, The afterlife of images: translating the pathological body between China and the West, Durham: Duke University Press, 2008

Reference

Wellcome Library no. 651195i

Lettering note

Bears number on verso: No. 13

Reproduction note

After: one of at least 115 paintings executed in Canton (Guangzhou) by Lam Qua, ca. 1830-1850, for the American missionary Peter Parker (1804-1888), and which are now (2004) in Yale Medical Library, the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art (Cornell University), and the Gordon Museum, Guy's Hospital, London: see cited works by Gilman, Rachman and Heinrich



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