Wooden statue of St Cosmas, Spain, 1770-1850

1770-1850 in Spain

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Gilded wooden statue of Saint Cosmas, Spanish, 1770-1850

St Cosmas (said to have lived in Cilicia, now southern Turkey, sometime dur-ing 301-400) practised medicine free of charge with his twin St Damian. Here St Cosmas is performing a technique known as uroscopy, in which urine from the patient is observed, smelt and even tasted. Bodily fluids gave clues about the state of the balance of humours and could give the physician ideas for how to treat the patient. The statue is carved from a single piece of wood and painted.

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Science Museum: Medicine: The Wellcome Galleries

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Related people


Classical & Medieval Medicine
Object Number:
complete, gold plated (gilded), paint and wood
  • visual and verbal communication
  • sculpture
Chavet, A.

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