'Operation for Stones in the Head', Netherlands, 1601-1700

Made:
1601-1700 in Netherlands
artist:
Nicolaes Weydmans

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Copper engraving `Cutting for the Stone' (16--?) by H. W Weydmans. 14x13cm.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Print, copper engraving, 'Coopt coopt met groot verblyden, Hier salmen ... van Lye Leyden, 'Cutting for the Stone' (16--?) by N. Weydmans. image: 14 x 13 cm, overall: 17.5 x 15 cm.Man using scalpel to remove a stone from her forehead, a man holds her head during the operation. surgical instruments on the table, stones already removed laid out.

This print shows a woman undergoing a surgical operation. Undoubtedly she is in great pain and needs to be restrained, especially as this was a time before anaesthetics. The inscription at the bottom probably translates as ‘Come run, be filled with joy; here we are cutting the woman of her “stone.”’ In the 1600s and 1700s, especially in the Low Countries such as the Netherlands, someone with metal health problems was characterised as having a stone in their head. Travelling practitioners would pretend to remove a stone from the head by making an incision in the scalp and by sleight of hand appear to produce a stone. This print is based on an engraving by Nicolaes Weydmans, a Dutch artist working sometime during the 1600s. The print is unusual as it shows a woman undergoing an operation, the majority of similar prints showed men operating on male patients.

Details

Category:
Art
Object Number:
1982-683
Materials:
copper engraving, paper
type:
print
taxonomy:
  • visual and verbal communication
  • visual and verbal communication
  • print

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