• Volume 72 , Number 2
  • Page: 119–23

Images f rom the history of leprosy

In this issue, the JOURNAL initiates a new feature, "Images from the History of Leprosy." Of all the major maladies of mankind, few have a history as extraordinary and as well-documented as leprosy. We believe that this JOURNAL provides an appropriate place in which to collect a series of images portraying the depth and richness of this history, and issue an open invitation to members of the International Leprosy Association, as well as to other physicians, friends, and institutions who may have in their possession valuable images from this multifaceted history.

Of the greatest interest for this feature are photographs, sketches, or other images that illustrate events, discoveries, institutions, and ideas that have played a significant role in the history of leprosy. In order to avoid having this feature become only a gallery of physicians and scientists who have worked on leprosy, we do not wish to encourage submission of photographs of these individuals, believing that their contributions are more appropriately recognized in other ways.

Two major criteria will be applied for the selection of images for this feature: first, that the subject is important in the history of leprosy, and second, that the image itself is of high quality. Those who submit images for consideration are asked to provide as much documentation as possible concerning the subject of the image, as well as documentation about the image itself (including the source or artist, medium, and dates of creation or publication if known). If you would like to contribute an image for consideration, please communicate first with the JOURNAL office (ijl@lsu.edu) to describe the nature of the image. Please do not send originals; we will provide contributors with information about the preferred methods of electronic (or other) reproduction for publication.

This series begins with the haunting portrait of a 14-year-old girl published in the landmark atlas of Daniellsen and Boeck in 1847. The artist has carefully recorded the clinical details of the macular lesions on her cheeks, but has also captured in her eyes the bewildered look of sadness and apprehension that is familiar to generations of physicians who have had the task of advising their patients of this diagnosis.



Previous page: A young girl with macular lesions of leprosy, 1847.

Reproduced here is Planche IX from the original Atlas Colorié de Spedalskhed [Atlas of Leprosy] by D. C. Daniellsen and C. W. Boeck. This Atlas is a landmark in the medical history of leprosy, as it represents the beginning of the modern understanding and classification of this disease.

The Atlas was printed by Trykt i Prahls Lithographs in Bergen, Norway, in 1847. The image here is reproduced electronically from an original chromolithograph made from a painting by J. L. Losting. The lithograph measures 49.5 cm x 33.0 cm.

This image and documentation were contributed by the Section of Rare Books-Library Luiza Keffer-Instituto Lauro de Souza Lima, Bauru, Brazil.

This image may be viewed in color in the electronic edition of the Journal. Please visit our web-site at leprosy-ila.org, and click on the Journal icon.

2019 © International Journal of Leprosy and other Mycobacterial Diseases all right reaserved GN1