Views & Reviews Medical Classics

Self Portrait with Dr Arrieta

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: (Published 06 August 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a1121
  1. James Curran, GP locum, Glasgow
  1. jdcur{at}

    For much of his working life the Spanish painter Francisco de Goya was not fond of the medical profession. In the “Caprichos,” a series of prints painted a few years after a prolonged and debilitating illness that left Goya deaf, a doctor is portrayed as an ass, sitting with a vacant expression at the bedside of a moribund patient, while in the background two dark figures stand menacingly over the bed. The print is cynically titled What Illness Will He Die From?

    By contrast, however, is the double portrait that Goya produced many years later of himself …

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