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September 1963

Pediatrics in Art: An Infant With Some Facial Features of Mongolism

Author Affiliations

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

Am J Dis Child. 1963;106(3):333. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1963.02080050335015

Ruhräh in 1935 described a painting of Andrea Mantegna (1431-1506) which he felt was of extraordinary pediatric interest because the child in the picture was a diagnostic puzzle.1 The child had some features of a cretin and some of a Mongol and perhaps a mixture of the two, according to Ruhräh.

Another of Mantegna's paintings which hangs in the Carrara Gallery at Bergamo has recently come to my attention and again the child presents a diagnostic puzzle. As in the painting described earlier by Ruhräh, this picture shows a child with features suggestive of mongolism. In favor of this diagnosis are the slant eyes, although the epicanthic fold is not definite, the small nose, the open mouth, and the adenoidal expression. However, the hands are not typical of mongolism; nor is the great toe of the foot separated from the others.

One wonders why Mantegna who painted some of

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