The Sick Rose… Medical Illustration of Diseases and Decay - CVLT Nation
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The Sick Rose… Medical Illustration of Diseases and Decay

Last week when I was researching Dr. Richard Barnett’s book Crucial Interventions: An Illustrated Treatise on the Principles & Practice of Nineteenth-Century Surgery, I came across another book of medical illustration he had curated called The Sick Rose: Disease and The Art of Medical Illustration. While his book of surgical illustrations was morbidly enjoyable, The Sick Rose is outright disgusting, rancid, and amazing! You can feel the pain and suffering emanating from the page, and who doesn’t love a good leprosy illustration? These are gorgeous pieces of art, with some of the worst subject matters you can imagine.

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  • Head, shoulders, and hands of a baby suffering from hereditary syphilis. Lithograph by Franz Mracek, published in Atlas of Syphilis and the Venereal Diseases, 1898.
    Head, shoulders, and hands of a baby suffering from hereditary syphilis. Lithograph by Franz Mracek, published in Atlas of Syphilis and the Venereal Diseases, 1898.
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  • Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images
    Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images
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    images@wellcome.ac.uk
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Written By

Meghan MacRae grew up in Vancouver, Canada, but spent many years living in the remote woods. Living in the shadow of grizzly bears, cougars and the other predators of the wilderness taught her about the dark side of nature, and taught her to accept her place in nature's order as their prey. She is co-founder of CVLT Nation.

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