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Article
November 1991

Skin Diseases: Five Centuries of Scientific Illustration

Author Affiliations

Fort Lauderdale, Fla

 

by Franz Ehring, 288 pages, with color and black-and-white illus, Stuttgart, Germany, Gustav Fischer Verlag, 1989.

Arch Dermatol. 1991;127(11):1745. doi:10.1001/archderm.1991.01680100149041

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Abstract

My son likes pictures in his books and so do I. This beautifully produced, meticulously researched work is a superb introduction to the art of dermatologic illustration. Dr Ehring examines the manner by which publishing economics, printing technology, and nosologic concepts influenced the depiction of skin disease.

The casual reader may find the technical details somewhat arid, though the text is not without amusing anecdotes. The glory of this book, however, is its pictures. Like any good art historian (or dermatological preceptor), Dr Ehring forces us to look rather than simply see. We begin to discriminate the distinctive shadings of etching vs lithograph. We become cognizant of the evolving imagery from stylized ideal to realistic individuality. Finally, we appreciate the artistry of the finest examples.

As a history, it is not surprising that the weakest section regards the present. Anyone, like myself, who had the privilege of working with John

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