Image of the Week: An Unconscious Naked Man

I like this strange painting depicting the effects of chloroform

Wellcome Trust Blog

V0017053 An unconscious naked man An unconscious naked man, symbolising the effects of chloroform on the human body, R. Cooper.

A new exhibition opened at Wellcome Collection this week. ‘States of Mind: Tracing the Edges of Consciousness’ explores our understanding of the conscious experience from different perspectives. Calum Wiggins, a graduate trainee at the Wellcome Trust, has picked out a painting from the exhibition as our Image of the Week.

Henry Wellcome was an avid collector. Not content with gathering objects already in existence, he would also commission artworks to fill gaps in his collection. Wellcome wanted to have a representation of each of the important moments in this history of medicine and this watercolour was one of many painted by Richard Tennant Cooper at his request.

The disconcerting scene is the artist’s interpretation of the effects of chloroform on the human body. Demons armed with both surgical and musical instruments surround the man…

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