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The Sick Rose: Disease and the Art of Medical Illustration Hardcover – 31 May 2014

4.8 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 253 pages
  • Publisher: Distributed Art Publishers (DAP); 1 edition (31 May 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1938922409
  • ISBN-13: 978-1938922404
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 17.8 x 25.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 198,891 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

"The Sick Rose" is a visual tour through the golden age of medical illustration. The nineteenth century experienced an explosion of epidemics such as cholera and diphtheria, driven by industrialization, urbanization and poor hygiene. In this pre- color-photography era, accurate images were relied upon to teach students and aid diagnosis. The best examples, featured here, are remarkable pieces of art that attempted to elucidate the mysteries of the body, and the successive onset of each affliction. Bizarre and captivating images, including close-up details and revealing cross-sections, make all too clear the fascinations of both doctors and artists of the time. Barnett illuminates the fears and obsessions of a society gripped by disease, yet slowly coming to understand and combat it. The age also saw the acceptance of vaccination and the germ theory, and notable diagrams that transformed public health, such as John Snows cholera map and Florence Nightingales pioneering histograms, are included and explained. Organized by disease, "The Sick Rose" ranges from little-known ailments now all but forgotten to the epidemics that shaped the modern age. It is a fascinating "Wunderkammer" of a book that will enthrall artists, students, designers, scientists and the incurably curious everywhere.


Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this on a whim as I've got an interest in older medical illustration. I am thoroughly pleased with the book. The illustrations are all of really good quality and shows the progression of a large number of illnesses and conditions that with the advent of modern medicine are no longer seen in medical practice (well, at least I hope they're not). I personally think this is a fantastic coffee table book, my girlfriend on the other hand disagrees. Apparently, it may put some people off their biscuits.....
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Format: Hardcover
Not for the squeamish, this book is a fascinating and compelling collection of illustrations from medical textbooks of the days before colour photography, when meticulous colour drawings were the only way to show the reader the visible symptoms of disease. This includes diseases that most modern readers in developed countries will never have encountered, making some of the images particularly startling.

What makes the drawings particularly interesting is the meticulous detail and precision of the artwork in contrast to the gruesome subject matter it portrays. A human hand in the grotesque advanced stages of leprosy is rendered in tiny and delicate detail, for instance, and immense care has been taken by every artist in reproducing the variations in colour and texture of even the most hideous of growths, lesions and sores.

There's something particularly arresting about the images that show the subject's face and clothing. In their carefully reproduced Regency and Victorian clothing with their neat period hairstyles, these are people straight from genteel costume dramas, which somehow makes their disfiguring or fatal conditions seem all the more shocking.

The book's text is beautifully written and informative.

As I've come to expect from this publisher, this book is beautifully produced in every way, with exceptional design.
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By Pam on 13 Mar. 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this for the design which is excellent. A beautiful book about awful things.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A bit disappointing, as you can read it in an hour - and then what?
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