This discussion focuses on graphical representation of surgical operations in the 19th and 21st Century and how surgery has evolved in years.
Eakins’ paintings depict the doctor getting assistance from Penn professors. This emphasizes on how doctors, nurses and physicians work together during surgery. This is also demonstrated in a 21st century media image.
In both clinics, the doctors are seen to be carrying conservative operations as opposed to the amputations they performed in earlier decades. We see the surgery being carried out in a cleaner, brighter, surgical theater. In comparison, there seems to be advancement in understanding the prevention of infections which is also realized in 21st Century surgeries where hygiene is considered mandatory.
Eakins, T. (1885). The presence of a professional nurse in the later day painting in The Gross Clinic at the operations theater is similar to the 21st century operating theater where women are fully involved in carrying out surgery.
The purpose of the graphical demonstration of medical procedures is to show how surgery has evolved for the better and how it has changed from being a painful amputating activity to a procedure used for healing.
Men in the Gross clinic are depicted as calm in surgery where as women are demonstrated as cringing in distress. The dramatic figure of the lady in The Gross Clinic shows the contrast of the calmness displayed by the men around the patient.
Eakins presentation shows men as a strong gender who can handle surgery in absolute calmness where as women are featured to be in distress and full of emotions. This is exhibited by the lone woman in The Gross Clinic.
If Cassatt was the painter women would be depicted as calm and support staff during surgery hence making the two genders equal.
Graphic depictions in surgery in the 19th surgery have assisted a lot in understanding how surgery has evolved with time from a painful amputating procedure to a method of treating and healing which involves both genders in the 21st Century.
Cassatt, M. (1998). modern woman. Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago in association with H.N. Abrams.
Cassatt, M. (1998). Modern woman. Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago in association with H.N. Abrams.
Werbel, A. B. (1986). Problems in Attribution: Twenty Drawings of Nude Models Attributed to Thomas Eakins. Harvard: Harvard University.
Werbel, A. B. (2007). Thomas Eakins: Art, Medicine, and Sexuality in Nineteenth-century Philadelphia. Washington: Yale University Press.