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Views & Reviews Review of the Week

Go figure

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 03 February 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:a2731
  1. Colin Martin, independent consultant in healthcare communication
  1. 1London
  1. cmpubrel{at}

    Although not strictly an anatomical artist who aimed to accurately depict animal and human figures, Francis Bacon is the most uncompromisingly visceral 20th century artist. Archival material from Bacon’s London studio displayed at this exhibition documents his use of physiological and clinical photographs as sources for individual figures and compositions in his work. The exhibition marks the centenary of the artist’s birth, on 28 October 1909.

    The radiographic manual Positioning in Radiology, now in its 12th edition, was first published by the pioneering UK radiographer Kathleen Clara Clark in 1939. Her aim was to standardise how patients were positioned by radiographers before being exposed to x rays, so that the diagnostic images made in different hospitals could be compared. The manual’s photographs, which have an artistry that transcends cold scientific objectivity, made it Bacon’s favourite …

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