This volume helps to understand how, historically, the aesthetic canons were as diverse and changeable as the ideas on the phenomenology of health and disease, and how beauty can manifest itself in artistic expression even in the presence of pathologies evident to the eye of an expert clinician. But, above all, the merit of the scholars who participated in it, experts of reference in the historical-artistic and medical world, is that of having compared fields of knowledge that are very different from each other, fueling this always fruitful interdisciplinary discussion and helping to understand history of art through that of medicine (Eike D. Schmidt). The masterpieces of the Uffizi Galleries are transformed into didactic tools and are enriched with new interpretations for visitors, tourists and onlookers. The world of medicine, in fact, emerges in these works, becoming a starting point for original insights and unprecedented forays into areas of knowledge, which are not always valued in their connections with the world of art. Together with the use of literary texts, they are transformed into opportunities to highlight aspects of the medical culture of the past and present, to highlight “other” interpretations, useful for developing the artistic eye and the clinical eye.
If, in fact, the analysis of the details of the iconography allows an important training in the diagnosis, which, in the past, was the only possible strategy, in the absence of diagnostic means, a passage can give voice to different experiences and be testimony of an epoch, it can document situations and perspectives, enhancing observation and understanding skills forcing a profound attention that, from the literary text, then moves on to the patient’s story.
In fact, both the iconodiagnosis and the close reading activity presuppose a commitment that goes beyond the image and the words, to also consider the aspects that substantiate these expressive forms, to frame them in the historical period in which they were created and which inspires them, analyzing the form and style, the time in which the action takes place, the relationship between events, the author’s intention.
In the volume, which has a marked formative approach, the cards are organized by large groups: the historical-artistic card is followed by the historical-medical one.
Works that present iconodiagnostic cues or that have relevance to the medical and health world were taken into consideration, grouped into thematic sections:
The Saints of Medicine and Surgery
Anatomy and anatomical dissection
Pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, puerperium
Diseases of the endocrine system
Systemic diseases of the connective tissue
The great doctors
Medicine in war
The Medici family