Pharmacy and Therapeutics in Caricature

Pharmacy and Therapeutics in Caricature

Author: William H. Helfand
Publisher: American Institute of the History of Pharmacy
Year Published: 1980, 2010
Slides: 27
AIHP#: ST50
Price: $20.00 ($12.00 for members)

Summary: How pharmacists and the drugs they dispensed have been caricatured throughout history.

Abstract: Along with his professional colleagues – the physician, the surgeon and the dentist – the pharmacist has been an important contributor to the public health for hundreds of years. Because of the way he has practiced his profession, the pharmacist has always been even closer to society than members of these other professions, and this nearness to the people has been reflected, as we would expect, in literature and art. Sometimes the depiction of the pharmacist in art or literature has been comic. Molière, Shakespeare, and Flaubert satirized him in their plays and novels. Haydn and Donizetti lampooned him in their operas. And Daumier and Rowlandson have caricatured him in their lithographs and engravings. In the field of caricature alone, there have been many instances in which pharmacy or the pharmacist has served as either the butt of the artists’ commentary or the vehicle for it. A study of some examples in this field will further indicate how wrapped together pharmacy and society have been over the last 350 years, since caricature has been part of the Western world.

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