Painting is earliest example of portrayal of Down's syndrome

BMJ 2003; 326 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.326.7381.126/b (Published 18 January 2003)
Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:126.3

Get access to this article and all of bmj.com for the next 14 days

Sign up for a 14 day free trial today

Access to the full text of this article requires a subscription or payment. Please log in or subscribe below.

  1. Roger Dobson
  1. Abergavenny

    Psychiatrists have identified what is believed to be one of the earliest paintings of someone with Down's syndrome.


    Embedded Image

    The 1515 Flemish painting, by an unknown artist, considerably predates John Langdon Down's first description of the condition in 1866. It shows an angel (next to Mary)—and possibly one other figure, the shepherd in the centre of the background—with the syndrome.

    “If our diagnosis is correct, this implies that Down's syndrome is not a modern disease,” say the …

    Get access to this article and all of bmj.com for the next 14 days

    Sign up for a 14 day free trial today

    Access to the full text of this article requires a subscription or payment. Please log in or subscribe below.

    Article access

    Article access for 1 day

    Purchase this article for £20 $30 €32*

    The PDF version can be downloaded as your personal record

    * Prices do not include VAT

    THIS WEEK'S POLL