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'The Doctor', print, caricature, London, England, 1830-1874

This caricature shows the different treatments on offer to the sick. The tools of the doctor, including amputation, blistering and blood letting are depicted by impish characters. One figure is wearing a bleeding bowl on his head. The last figures represent treatments including a pestle and mortar, and pills and liquids. The doctor watches over his tools and treatments from the sky. The title reads “Then comes the Doctor with his draughts and drenchings, His cataplasms and Phlebotomy”. The print was drawn by ‘Alfred Crowquill’, the pseudonym of Alfred Henry Forrester (1804-1872), an English painter and illustrator.

Object number:

1987-184

 

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    Glossary:

    Glossary: print

    Pictorial works produced by transferring images by means of a matrix such as a plate, block, or screen, using any of various printing processes. When emphasizing the individual printed image, use "impressions." Avoid the controversial expression "original prints," except in reference to discussions of the expression's use. If prints are neither "reproductive prints" nor "popular prints," use just "prints."

    Glossary: humours

    The fluids of the body whose balance is essential to well-being. They are blood, choler (yellow bile), phlegm, and melancholy (black bile). The system of the humours was closely related to the theory of the elements by the Ancient Greeks (especially Hippocrates), who were the first society to widely embrace the theory and apply it to medical practice. In Ancient Roman culture, the theory of the humours was embraced by Galen. During the neo-classical revival in western culture, the theory of the humours was a dominant form of medical practice. Its legacy in the form of activities such as blood-letting continued in England into the eighteenth century.

    Glossary: amputation

    Removal of part of, or a whole limb by surgery. Used to control pain or the spread of disease in the affected limb.

    Glossary: lancets

    A surgical instrument of various forms, commonly sharp-pointed and two-edged. The lancet is used in venesection (the act of opening a vein for bloodletting), and in opening abscesses.

    Glossary: mortar

    Cup-shaped vessel in which drugs or herbal mixtures are pounded with a pestle.

    Glossary: pestle

    An elongated piece of hard material usually made of stone. A pestle is used for grinding pigments, herbs, spices or other materials in a mortar.

    Glossary: leech

    A type of worm that possesses suckers at both ends of its body. Formerly widely used for letting blood, the medicinal leech may now be used following microsurgery to encourage the growth of new capillaries. Leeches are found in tropical forests, grasslands and in water.

    Glossary: lithograph

    Prints made using the process of lithography - a method for printing using a plate or stone with a completely smooth surface.

    Glossary: bloodletting

    Puncturing a vein in order to withdraw blood. A popular medical practice for over two thousand years. Bloodletting often involved withdrawing large quantities of blood in the belief that this would cure or prevent many illnesses and diseases. The practice has been abandoned for all but a few very specific conditions.

    Glossary: bleeding bowl

    A shallow bowl four to six inches in diameter, with one flat handle which is usually flush with the rim. Used by barber-surgeons in the 1600s and 1700s when bleeding a patient.

    Glossary: inflammation

    The body’s response to injury. An inflammation is marked by redness, heat, pain, swelling, and often loss of function. The process leads to the elimination of noxious agents and of damaged tissue.

    Glossary: blistering

    The process in which the body forms blisters. When the top layer of skin is damaged a blister, a small sac of liquid, forms to protect the soft tissue underneath.