C1814

1. Breathing a Vein 2. Gentle Emetic 3. Brisk Cathartic 4. Charming Well.

Artist:

Revd John Sneyd

Famous set of four satirical medical related prints by Gilray, these are the very rare Dublin issue by Petit. The prevailing medical thinking at the time, was based on the Greek tradition which continued well into the C19th and was … Read Full Description

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S/N: CARIC-092–218607
(C109)
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Details

Full Title:

1. Breathing a Vein 2. Gentle Emetic 3. Brisk Cathartic 4. Charming Well.

Date:

C1814

Artist:

Revd John Sneyd

Engraver:

Le Petit after James Gilray after 

Condition:

Blue backed, otherwise in excellent good condition, with unfaded colours.

Technique:

Copper engraving with original hand colouring

Image Size: 

240mm 
x 300mm
AUTHENTICITY
1. Breathing a Vein  2. Gentle Emetic  3. Brisk Cathartic  4. Charming Well. - Antique Print from 1814

Genuine antique
dated:

1814

Description:

Famous set of four satirical medical related prints by Gilray, these are the very rare Dublin issue by Petit.

The prevailing medical thinking at the time, was based on the Greek tradition which continued well into the C19th and was based on the concept of four humours. When these were in balance, a person was considered healthy. In these four prints we see various applications or results in the administring various techniques in attempt to rebalance the body. It was thought that if the blood being one of the four humours, was allowed to build up in excess it would stagnate in certain areas of the body which then needed to be reduced through bloodletting to restore the natural balance.

In the first print the seated patient has a tourniquet above the elbow, the artery in the forearm has been punctured with a lancet, and the blood which is gushing out is being collected in a bowl. Although usually recommended by physicians, bloodletting was often carried out by barbers leading to the separation of the duties of physicians and surgeons. The red-and-white-striped pole of the barber shop represented this practice, the red representing the blood being drawn, the white the tourniquet, and the pole itself, the stick squeezed in the patient’s hand to dilate the veins.

In the second print the patient has been administered an emetic, a medicine to induce vomiting.

In the third the effects of the cathartic are evident.

In the final print the patient is well again in spite of the primitive treatment administered to him.

References; Lyons, Albert. Medicine an Illustrated History 1987 PG 467-563 Haslam, Fiona From Hogarth to Rowlandson: Medicine in Art in Eighteenth-Century Britain, University of Chigaco

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