14 December 2007

Illustration Friday: Backwards


Le Medecin

This is a painting I have been working on some time now, since roughly the beginning of my mother's illness. It is mainly a response to how the medical field is founded upon the oath to improve, nurture, and sustain a person. Having a family history rooted in medicine (pharmacology, nursing, anesthesiology), I have a keen interest and thirst for the particular knowledge. But what I am most frustrated with is the legal and financial issues associated with it. Often counter intuitive to helping a person.

As far as it tying into the theme of backwards, the mask is a symbol brought from the Bubonic Plague. Doctors would use these clothes and mask to prevent themselves from being infected. In the long beak of the mask, smelling salts were packed so as to purify the air. a tunic of pure linen or waxen cloth was worn and gave him the appearance of a mournful bird. He also would wear spectacles on the mask and furthermore always had his trusty staff with which he removed the clothes of plague-victims, thinking that in this way the terrible epidemic would not bring him any harm. So in essence, the doctors were trying to help the people, but only spread the disease more so. Thus, being quite backwards as to their original intention.

11 comments:

Sorrel Sparks said...

This is a beautiful image. Its really creepily mournful. Ilove the colours you've used.

CREATIVEGoddess said...

Love your style -very arresting.

Liz Jones said...

Oh, so very cool. I always wondered about the origin of those masks-- makes a creepy time that much spookier...

Lindsey said...

this is really awesome. your illustrations are always great

ChatRabbit said...

Freakin' awesome painting, Kelly!
As backwards as the current medical system can seem at times, it sure is better than it was in the aptly named "Dark Ages".

dianeclancy said...

Very creative!! And I am sorry about your mom's illness. That is very hard to deal with!

Great post too.

~ Diane Clancy
www.dianeclancy.com/blog

Bill Z said...

very interesting and nice illustration

tusen said...

striking image

Kate Cummings said...

Stunning.

Patrick said...

This is an amazing image! Just a beautiful job, and it was great to be able to read the history behind it. Wow.

Laurel Neustadter said...

Beautiful artwork and very interesting commentary.