Artist Archive

This page is a work in progress. If you can help please submit information to Áine Murphy at or contact 021 490 1571

Art & Medicine - a lasting relationship

Links between art and medicine go back a long way.  The Renaissance painters and sculptors were acute observers of the human body achieving utter fidelity to underlying physical structure.  Medical doctors with a flair for art can diagnose common, and not so common, conditions from Renaissance paintings.  In the 17th century, men like Robert Boyle began to lay the foundations of medern medicine and this led to a long and fruitful association of fine drawing with Anatomy.  Bernard Siegfried Albinus (1697-1770) pioneered this new approach, combining anatomical correctness with an artistic sense for anatomical illustration, in his extraordinary Tabulae Sceleti et muscolorum corporis humani published in 1747.  The old anatomical atlases contain stunning drawings of morbid anatomy.  Irishmen such as Richard Quain (1800-1887) and Joseph Maclise (born in Cork around 1815) achieve world fame for their work.  For medical students today, and for health professionals generally, visual awareness and perception are valuable aids to accurate diagnosis and correct interpretation of visual signals from patient and client can assist an accurate reading of what is actually going on under the surface of the consultation.  In evolutionary terms our visual intelligence preceded language and was a critical aid to survival.  Cave art of tens of thousands of years ago attests to this.  Today we neglect this aspect of our nature.  Conscious use of our innate visual intelligence can add not only to our professional toolkit but can also enrich us immeasurably as people. 


 Living Artists in the Medicine & Health field
Burns, Lizzie former cancer researcher from Oxford University
Byth, Dr Susan general practictioner
Chuang, Cheng-Chieh Zen earned MD at Yale University School of Medicine, has travelled as physician and watercolourist and facilitates a course to medical students at Brown Medical School - Art & Medicine
Gilbert, Mark Portraits of care: medical research through portraiture
Rahman, Dr Malik graduate of University of Illinois College of Medicine and Loyola University Medical Center
Velhoen, Aat in the 1959-1960s did sketches of hospital operating rooms and obstretrics wards and depicted people at the end of life in hospitals settings
Deceased Artists in the Medicine & Health field


Carus, Carl Gustav (1789-1869) German physiologist and painter

Creamer, Brian, (12 Apr 1926-23 Jun 2005) Dean of St Thomas's Hospital Medical School


Grokoest, Dr Albert (1917-1991) Practised as internist and rheumatologist 

Thayer, Abbott Handerson (1849-1921) Born in Boston, Harvard educated physician
Close X