The Endemic Goitre in Figurative Arts

Antonio Giampalmo



For the past fifteen years the author has beenc ollecting photographic documentation of works of figurative arts ( graffiti, mosaic, engravings, paintings and sculptures) made at different times and places, in which he found mostly unintentional display of disease or deformities that would be clearly identified in nosography in the light of today's knowledge. In this study the author intends to illustrate briefly different cases on endemic goitre -whose representation particularly frequent in figurative arts- in chronological order, beginning with the most ancient ones and focussing on Italian portraying of the Nativity and the Passion of Christ, where the most striking infirmities and disabilities were mirrored and commonly accepted. This study whose interest lies between a scientific and a humaistic one has also importance in the field of art, and especially in relevant philological research which is of particular importance to us pathologists. At last it contribute to establish the epidemiology of some diseases and the knowledge of historical and geographical patholgy.


Key words: Endemic goitre - Pathology in figurative arts - Antropology and arts 

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