Sunday, March 01, 2009

Removing Stones and Demons: Medieval "Psychotherapies"

The image to the right (a "permanent" feature) is a painting by Hieronymous Bosch and is entitled, The Cure of Folly: Extracting the Stone of Madness. This early form of psycho-surgery was emblematic in Renaissance art.

For the time being, I will upload some images I have found. Later on, I will edit for more description and explanation.

In my previous post, I included images of demons being exorcised as examples of the association between insanity and the demonic. I have more images, which I will include below as examples of healing the 'mad'.

Removing the Stone

Let us begin with the stone removal operations. (Much gratitude to Jessica Palmer's bioephemera; I had found these images on my own, but she has well surpassed my efforts with her impressive art history annotations.) The more recent works are actually characatures of 'quacks', so I'm including them under somewhat false pretenses.

Jan Sanders van Hemessen's The Surgeon

Pieter Breughel's Witch of Malleghen
Here is a close-up of the witch at work

Frans Hals, Das Narrenschneiden

HW Weydmans, Removing the Stone

I cannot find the artist for this caricature, L'Operation Inutile
This could be mistaken for a cure of folly: it is a medieval image representing the proper cure for epilepsy


Christ Cures a Madman

Christ exorcises a man's demons
The Possession of St. Catherine

Exorcising frog-demons

Christ exorcising demons

Rubens' The Miracle of St. Ignacius

No comments:

Post a Comment