Monday, March 5, 2018

Looking for Clues in Art

We think of art, whether modern, post modern, classical, or even neolithic, as a way to express the painter's thoughts on their surroundings. It doesn't matter if the scene is posed, still life, mythical or something else. The artist take that and makes their artwork a memory of their surroundings to last for centuries.

Recently researchers looking at breast cancer iconograpy through history found two portraits from the early 16th century showing late stage breast cancer.

"Signs of breast cancer can clearly be seen in "The Night", painted by Michele di Rodolfo del Ghirlandaio, and "The Allegory of Fortitude", depicted by Maso di San Friano."

If you look at the close ups of these two paintings in the Forbes article you can see them clearly. In addition it is noted that the Renaissance was a time of medical advancement so perhaps this was a way of showing the realities of life. What have other artists done? Intentionally omitted body defects so as not to show signs of disease?

But I also would not want to be the patients in the photos which show necrotizing tissue.


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