02 July 2011

Before the stethoscope

'The Examination' by Jules-Abel Faivre, c. 1898. 
A beautiful, young woman looks away coyly while an aged doctor examines her chest.

The painting depicts the technique of "direct auscultation" used by physicians before Laennec invented the stethoscope.

From the Wellcome Collection, via marinni.

7 comments:

  1. After seeing this painting, countless young Frenchmen applied to medical school.

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  2. It should read "before Laennec ruined it for pervy aged doctors"

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  3. This painting is from well after the invention of the stethoscope, though; even flexible tube models would have been around for over four decades at this time.

    So I'm wondering: Is this piece depicting a rural doctor who is well behind the times, a scene from the past, or made solely for its erotic undertones?

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  4. Ariston: "Is this piece [...] made solely for its erotic undertones?"

    Yeah, that'd be my guess. Especially considering the bedding that doesn't quite come up over her crotch - the doctor must be getting a nice view there!

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  5. "Is this piece depicting a rural doctor who is well behind the times, a scene from the past, or made solely for its erotic undertones?"

    This could be the earliest depiction of what later came to be called "playing doctor."

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  6. That seems so be used a lot, I mean doctors listen to the patients' heart like that! I think there were horns used by old Egyptian.

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