Free
Anesthesiology Reflections from the Wood Library-Museum  |   May 2016
Peale’s Central Figures in The Court of Death: Death, the Corpse, Old Age, and Faith
Article Information
Anesthesiology Reflections from the Wood Library-Museum
Anesthesiology Reflections from the Wood Library-Museum   |   May 2016
Peale’s Central Figures in The Court of Death: Death, the Corpse, Old Age, and Faith
Anesthesiology 5 2016, Vol.124, 1052. doi:10.1097/01.anes.0000481941.77071.c0
Anesthesiology 5 2016, Vol.124, 1052. doi:10.1097/01.anes.0000481941.77071.c0
Raised in a Vermont family of church deacons and clergymen, nitrous oxide pioneer Gardner Q. Colton (1814–1898) so relished selling tickets for showings of The Court of Death that in 1858 he bought that allegorical oil painting from its American painter, Rembrandt Peale (1778–1860). In a central close-up (above) of the chromolithograph that Colton mass-produced for sale, pharaoh-like Death (1) passes judgment over the youthful Corpse (2), on whose chest rests the right foot of Death. Approaching Death is the figure—uniting supposed features of the bard Homer with the body of Peale’s father—of Old Age (3), who, supported by Faith (4), can triumph over Death. Over a rocky surface, Peale arches the Corpse (modeled after an actual cadaver and after Peale’s brother) with “oblivion’s listless stream” washing over its head and feet to show that, “We know not whence man cometh, nor whither he goeth.” In 1863, less than 4 years after first selling copies of Peale’s masterwork, Colton would found his namesake dental association for using unoxygenated nitrous oxide anesthetics to “wash away” patients’ experiences or memories of dental extraction. (Copyright © the American Society of Anesthesiologists, Inc.)
Raised in a Vermont family of church deacons and clergymen, nitrous oxide pioneer Gardner Q. Colton (1814–1898) so relished selling tickets for showings of The Court of Death that in 1858 he bought that allegorical oil painting from its American painter, Rembrandt Peale (1778–1860). In a central close-up (above) of the chromolithograph that Colton mass-produced for sale, pharaoh-like Death (1) passes judgment over the youthful Corpse (2), on whose chest rests the right foot of Death. Approaching Death is the figure—uniting supposed features of the bard Homer with the body of Peale’s father—of Old Age (3), who, supported by Faith (4), can triumph over Death. Over a rocky surface, Peale arches the Corpse (modeled after an actual cadaver and after Peale’s brother) with “oblivion’s listless stream” washing over its head and feet to show that, “We know not whence man cometh, nor whither he goeth.” In 1863, less than 4 years after first selling copies of Peale’s masterwork, Colton would found his namesake dental association for using unoxygenated nitrous oxide anesthetics to “wash away” patients’ experiences or memories of dental extraction. (Copyright © the American Society of Anesthesiologists, Inc.)
Raised in a Vermont family of church deacons and clergymen, nitrous oxide pioneer Gardner Q. Colton (1814–1898) so relished selling tickets for showings of The Court of Death that in 1858 he bought that allegorical oil painting from its American painter, Rembrandt Peale (1778–1860). In a central close-up (above) of the chromolithograph that Colton mass-produced for sale, pharaoh-like Death (1) passes judgment over the youthful Corpse (2), on whose chest rests the right foot of Death. Approaching Death is the figure—uniting supposed features of the bard Homer with the body of Peale’s father—of Old Age (3), who, supported by Faith (4), can triumph over Death. Over a rocky surface, Peale arches the Corpse (modeled after an actual cadaver and after Peale’s brother) with “oblivion’s listless stream” washing over its head and feet to show that, “We know not whence man cometh, nor whither he goeth.” In 1863, less than 4 years after first selling copies of Peale’s masterwork, Colton would found his namesake dental association for using unoxygenated nitrous oxide anesthetics to “wash away” patients’ experiences or memories of dental extraction. (Copyright © the American Society of Anesthesiologists, Inc.)
×
George S. Bause, M.D., M.P.H., Honorary Curator, ASA’s Wood Library-Museum of Anesthesiology, Schaumburg, Illinois, and Clinical Associate Professor, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio. UJYC@aol.com.
Raised in a Vermont family of church deacons and clergymen, nitrous oxide pioneer Gardner Q. Colton (1814–1898) so relished selling tickets for showings of The Court of Death that in 1858 he bought that allegorical oil painting from its American painter, Rembrandt Peale (1778–1860). In a central close-up (above) of the chromolithograph that Colton mass-produced for sale, pharaoh-like Death (1) passes judgment over the youthful Corpse (2), on whose chest rests the right foot of Death. Approaching Death is the figure—uniting supposed features of the bard Homer with the body of Peale’s father—of Old Age (3), who, supported by Faith (4), can triumph over Death. Over a rocky surface, Peale arches the Corpse (modeled after an actual cadaver and after Peale’s brother) with “oblivion’s listless stream” washing over its head and feet to show that, “We know not whence man cometh, nor whither he goeth.” In 1863, less than 4 years after first selling copies of Peale’s masterwork, Colton would found his namesake dental association for using unoxygenated nitrous oxide anesthetics to “wash away” patients’ experiences or memories of dental extraction. (Copyright © the American Society of Anesthesiologists, Inc.)
Raised in a Vermont family of church deacons and clergymen, nitrous oxide pioneer Gardner Q. Colton (1814–1898) so relished selling tickets for showings of The Court of Death that in 1858 he bought that allegorical oil painting from its American painter, Rembrandt Peale (1778–1860). In a central close-up (above) of the chromolithograph that Colton mass-produced for sale, pharaoh-like Death (1) passes judgment over the youthful Corpse (2), on whose chest rests the right foot of Death. Approaching Death is the figure—uniting supposed features of the bard Homer with the body of Peale’s father—of Old Age (3), who, supported by Faith (4), can triumph over Death. Over a rocky surface, Peale arches the Corpse (modeled after an actual cadaver and after Peale’s brother) with “oblivion’s listless stream” washing over its head and feet to show that, “We know not whence man cometh, nor whither he goeth.” In 1863, less than 4 years after first selling copies of Peale’s masterwork, Colton would found his namesake dental association for using unoxygenated nitrous oxide anesthetics to “wash away” patients’ experiences or memories of dental extraction. (Copyright © the American Society of Anesthesiologists, Inc.)
Raised in a Vermont family of church deacons and clergymen, nitrous oxide pioneer Gardner Q. Colton (1814–1898) so relished selling tickets for showings of The Court of Death that in 1858 he bought that allegorical oil painting from its American painter, Rembrandt Peale (1778–1860). In a central close-up (above) of the chromolithograph that Colton mass-produced for sale, pharaoh-like Death (1) passes judgment over the youthful Corpse (2), on whose chest rests the right foot of Death. Approaching Death is the figure—uniting supposed features of the bard Homer with the body of Peale’s father—of Old Age (3), who, supported by Faith (4), can triumph over Death. Over a rocky surface, Peale arches the Corpse (modeled after an actual cadaver and after Peale’s brother) with “oblivion’s listless stream” washing over its head and feet to show that, “We know not whence man cometh, nor whither he goeth.” In 1863, less than 4 years after first selling copies of Peale’s masterwork, Colton would found his namesake dental association for using unoxygenated nitrous oxide anesthetics to “wash away” patients’ experiences or memories of dental extraction. (Copyright © the American Society of Anesthesiologists, Inc.)
×