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July 1963

Pediatrics in Art: Hydrocephalus

Author Affiliations

Capt Thomas E. Cone, Jr., MC, USN, Chief, Pediatric Service, US Naval Hospital, Bethesda 14,

Am J Dis Child. 1963;106(1):52-53. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1963.02080050054010

About 30 years ago Ruhräh published in this journal a number of articles depicting disease states in the models artists used for the infant in their paintings of the "Madonna and Child." Among the afflictions discovered by Ruhräh in these models were infantile edema,1 rickets and exophthalmos,2 cretinism or mongolism,3 and muscular hypertrophy.4

This illustration showing the "Madonna and Child, Saints and Angels" by Pietro Perugino (1445-1523), the original of which is part of the W. A. Clark Collection at the with the exception of the head, are excellent; this would lead one to suspect that Perugino's model must have been hydrocephalic.

Pietro Perugino was the beloved teacher of Raphael and next to his student he was the greatest representative of the Umbrian School. It is interesting to read in Vasari's Lives of the Artists that Perugino, in spite of the religious tone of his paintings,

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