Saturday, October 3, 2015

The First Operations--famous paintings

I saw a really wonderful movie this week:  The Physician.
Watch trailer here:
See photos at bottom of page.

In the movie there was a scene, which is only too quickly and not very well captured here in the trailer, of what signified the first time a living person was cut open to perform an operation--it was rather beautifully done in the movie.  The scene was special to me for a couple of reasons.  In my early art training I was privileged to learn a lot about the artist Thomas Eakins and his techniques.  Eakins painted the famous critically acclaimed painting "The Gross Clinic" which memorialized the rather gory operation and "The Agnew Clinic".  He painted 2 famous paintings about operations.

That art education was at the hands of Joel Babb.  Joel Babb, some 130 years after Eakins, was commissioned to paint "First Successful Organ Transplant", 1996, oil on linen, 70x88" and "Coronary Bypass Operation at Brigham and Women's", Boston 2010, oil on linen, 40x70".  He painted 2 paintings about operations as well.  

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