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August 20, 1997

Art, Surgery and Transplantation

Author Affiliations

Londonderry, Vt

JAMA. 1997;278(7):597-598. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550070089046

In Art, Surgery and Transplantation, Sir Roy Calne alludes to the identical twins Cosmos and Damian, patron saints of surgery who reportedly transplanted a leg from a corpse to a member of the church with cancer, a "tour de force" depicted by Fra Angelica with eloquent simplicity. Likewise, the ancient mythological Chimera, a beast with the head of a lion and the tail of a dragon, became the symbol of transplantation—a fantasy born in mythology, reared in the surgical research laboratory, and nurtured by pioneering surgeons until it came to embody practical routine procedures in the management of end-stage organ failure.

Calne—Surgeon, dreamer, pioneering researcher, artist, and art historian—now tells the story of transplantation from infancy to maturity, narratively and visually with selected works of art, some by old masters but mostly his own paintings and sketches. Sir Roy's interest in art "has been influenced by witnessing the extreme bravery, suffering, elation, and happiness during