Allegory of Sickness

Giorgio Ghisi, Italian, 1520 - 1582. After Giulio Romano, Italian, 1492/99 - 1546.

Made in Mantua, Italy, Europe

c. 1540


Sheet: 11 11/16 x 8 1/2 inches (29.7 x 21.6 cm)

Curatorial Department:
Prints, Drawings, and Photographs

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
The Muriel and Philip Berman Gift, acquired from the John S. Phillips bequest of 1876 to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, with funds contributed by Muriel and Philip Berman, gifts (by exchange) of Lisa Norris Elkins, Bryant W. Langston, Samuel S. White 3rd and Vera White, with additional funds contributed by John Howard McFadden, Jr., Thomas Skelton Harrison, and the Philip H. and A.S.W. Rosenbach Foundation, 1985

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In this print a sick man is shown being cupped, a medical procedure known to the Greeks as early as the fourth century B.C. and that continued to be used well into the nineteenth century. In order to draw blood from the body, a glass or a cup is applied to the skin after the air within it has been removed by heat or suction. While one of the attendants tries to comfort the patient, another holds a candle to heat the cup before it is applied to his back.