Scenes from life
“Medicine is the art whereby health is conserved and the art whereby it is restored after being lost.” Avicenna (Ibn Sina)
Artists and photographers endeavoured to immortalise the new reality in hospitals and to make a record not only of doctors who made essential discoveries but also of more modest doctors and nurses whose day-to-day work nonetheless saved lives. Numerous surviving images show the rearrangement of hospital wards and the daily life of patients, the technical actions of medical and care teams, and vaccination campaigns. Surgical operations on wounded men were also photographed and drawn during the many wars in the 19th century and during World War I.
Turkey. Inside view of the Scutari Hospital during the Crimean war.

One of the Wards of the Hospital at Scutari


National Library of France , Paris, France


Nurses contributed a great deal to advancing hygiene and medicine. Here, a nurse is changing the layout of hospital wards to limit epidemics.

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