Pediatrics in Art
October 1935


Am J Dis Child. 1935;50(4):1003-1004. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1935.01970100181017

Vittore Carpaccio (1489-1522), of Venice, painted a well known picture called the birth of the Virgin, which is full of pediatric interest. It shows the interior of a house belonging to a well-to-do contemporary.

The room is light and airy, and the bed is in an alcove hung with rich curtains. An oriental rug over the seat nearby is a mute witness to the Venetian commerce with the east. The midwife holds the child in her arm and is evidently reaching down to test the water in the tub, while the father, Joachim, watches the bath. One woman is sewing, and another is tasting some soup before serving it to St. Anne. The two rabbits are a symbol of fertility. In the next room a woman is warming towels for drying the child, while in the room beyond an old woman is preparing a chicken.

Over the chest is a

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