[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
April 1991

Visual Art in the Neurologic Career of Jean-Martin Charcot

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Neurological Sciences, Rush-Presbyterian-St Luke's Medical Center, Chicago, Ill.

Arch Neurol. 1991;48(4):421-425. doi:10.1001/archneur.1991.00530160091020

• Jean-Martin Charcot, the world's first chaired professor of neurology, incorporated visual art into his daily practice of neurology. Art served as scientific documentation and was a pivotal tool in the development and dissemination of Charcot's clinicoanatomic method. Although Charcot drew extensively in clinical and laboratory studies, very few of these visual documents have ever been published or are currently available for public study. Charcot was central to the incorporation of medical photographs into the study of neurologic disease and relied heavily on visual material in his capacity as an international teacher. Art also misguided Charcot's career when he relied heavily on artwork in his attempt to convince critics that disorders seen at the Salpêtrière Hospital, Paris, France, were independent of his suggestive influence.