Wound Man: The Many Lives of a Surgical Diagram

Jack Hartnell

Cedars Sinai and The Program in the History of Medicine

Thursday, November 30, 2023 12:00 pm EST

Online Via Zoom

Register here.
This talk addresses the emergence and remarkable endurance of the ‘Wound Man’, an enigmatic surgical diagram of a fantastically injured figure that was reproduced across the medieval and early modern globe. Revealing the figure’s origins in late-medieval Bohemia, the talk explores the Wound Man’s multiple vivid reincarnations in manuscripts and printed books, from fifteenth-century Italy to sixteenth-century France and Spain, seventeenth-century England, and eighteenth-century Japan. But the Wound Man was more than just a recurrent image: it was an epistemic tool, encyclopedic as a visual repository of valuable surgical knowledge; it conflated the work of surgeons and physicians with contemporary patterns of literary and religious discourse; it activated different forms of medical media, bouncing back-and-forth between manuscript medicine and technologies of print; and, above all, it was a cross-cultural artistic feat, a lavish totem for practical medicine deployed to various audiences around Europe and the world.
Sponsored by The Program in the History of Medicine
For more information, please contact historyofmedicine@cshs.org