The British researcher, medical historian, Richard Barnett, searching in longstanding archives of Wellcome Collection, the museum in London, has found some beautiful antique anatomical themed illustrations and with them he published three different books.
Three books will surely please all enthusiasts of surgical tools of the past and of various morbidity, students of wunderkammer full of items and obscure instruments and all the fans of decidedly creepy retro atmospheres.
The last one in time, available by end of April 2017, is The Smile Stealers, a book that retraces the long past of dentistry from prehistory to the present day, showing terrifying ancient artifacts and utensils, beautiful pieces of medical design, poster, graphics and prints.
Always from the same author and published by Thames & Hudson, The Crucial Interventions a volume dedicated to the intersection between art and medicine – the first surgeons considered themselves and were defined artists – which shows, with macabre but splendid illustrated tables, the process of transformation of the nineteenth century surgery. Amputations, eye incisions, craniotomy over 250 pages to shiver or excite fans lovers.
With a title inspired by a poem by William Blake the third volume of the list is The Sick Rose. It too published by Thames & Hudson, it gathers a series of artworks created mainly between the French Revolution and the First World War. Before the advent of photography it was illustrators that have to capture mangled bodies, blisters, sores, deformities and corpses for doctors and future ones. And here there are plenty.
And now are you ready to go to the doctor?