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A reflection of epidemic in the European visual culture

Epidemics have always been part of human reality. The vast majority is caused by various biological agents, from bacteria, viruses, to prions. Society has responded differently to individual epidemics throughout history. In the past, people used to believe in more biblical interpretations, which were then rationalized with the scientific and technological development. Nevertheless, the measures have not changed significantly. Social isolation, physical distance and various barriers are still the most effective means of preventing the spread of epidemics. Numerous works of art also testify about this and other important aspects of epidemics. From those art pieces we can understand the attitude and state of society in times of epidemic conditions. In the Middle Ages, the consequences of epidemics of plague, leprosy, ergotism and other infectious diseases are depicted in many famous works of art by world masters. Images of epidemics of Spanish, bird and swine flu, AIDS, Ebola outbreaks, Zika virus, foot-and-mouth disease and many others are immortalized in the artworks of many famous authors like David Goodsell and Luke Jerram. In my paper I have tried to present some of them in a little more detail. I hope it will encourage you to independently discover and explore more gems from scientific art world.


Article inside journal

Issue No. 285 - Pandemic
Časopis za kritiko znanosti
2022 , volume volume 50 , issue issue 285
12,90 € each (incl. tax - DDV)
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