Daisy Dunn

From Leonardo to Hepworth: the art of surgery

A short history of art's obsession with the surgeon's scalpel

‘The Gross Clinic’, 1875, by Thomas Eakins. Credit: © Philadelphia Museum of Art / Bridgeman Images

A doctor with wild grey hair and mutton chops holds a scalpel in his bloodied hand. He has paused for a moment, allowing one of his students to take his place and complete the incision. It’s a remarkably clean cut; the young man with the clamp has barely dirtied his shirt cuffs.

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