Room 5: Epilepsy and Art

Epilepsy motifs in painting Epilepsy motifs in painting

Epilepsy motifs in sculpture Epilepsy motifs in sculpture

Epilepsy motifs in narrative literature Literaturliste: Epilepsy motifs in narrative literature Epilepsy motifs in narrative literature

For more details, click on the pictures!

Votive tablets

Votive tablets have played a major role in Christian tradition since the 17th century. They are simple pictures painted on wood tablets depicting the reason why people called for help (e.g. sickness, an accident, or war) or the saint who is called upon to help.

The votive tablets were usually displayed in churches or places of pilgrimage as a visible sign that heavenly grace had been received or that a vow had been taken.


Child with epilepsy and its parents at Altötting Girl with the falling sickness. Votive tablet from 1668 Saint Anastasia. Verre églomisé picture Healing of a woman with epilepsy.
Madonna die Bagni/Umbria

Alt-Ötting, Bavaria

epileptic girl,
approx. 1510

Votive tablet from 1668

Verre églomisé picture

Majolika tablet

 
Saint Anthony of Padua. Exvoto from 1773 Saint Valentin and the Virgin Mary.
Exvoto from 1843 from Mariahilfberg, Passau The Virgin Mary as advocate for a girl with epilepsy.

Saint Antonius

Saint Valentin and the Virgin Mary

Votive tablet from 1766

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Jesus Christ as a healer of epilepsy

Jesus healing a man who has epilepsy. Jesus healing a man in chains who has epilepsy. The transfiguration.
Raphael (1483-1520)

Miniature
(Heures du Duc de Berry)

Tablet around 1750

The transfiguration

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Patron saints of epilepsy

Bartholomäus Zeitbloom (1455-1515): Saint Valentin of Terni Saint Bernhard. Jörg Breu Senior, around 1500. Zwettl/Austria Henry Perche: The healing of a woman with the falling sickness. Matthias Grünewald: Saint Cyriakus Saint Severin of Noricum

Saint Valentin

Saint Bernhard

The Healing of a Woman with the Falling Sickness.

Saint Cyriakus

Saint Severin
of Noricum

 
Saint Ubald of Gubbio
(Matthias Faller, 1707-1790)

Saint Ubald of Gubbio.

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"Epilepsy surgery" from ancient Greek and Roman times, and from the Middle Ages

The stone-cutter
Jan Sanders van Hemessen
(about 1500 - after 1575) Epilepticus sic curabitur
('The way to cure an epileptic') Hieronymous van Aeken
(El Bosco, 1460-1516)

The stone-cutter

"Epilepticus sic curabitur"

El Bosco (1460-1516)

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Epilepsy motifs from Central America

The Aztec goddess Tlazolteotl The Inca ruler Capac Yupanqui's wife having an epileptic seizure

Tlazolteotl

Capac Yupanqui's wife

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modern works

The Red Curtain or Hommage to Vincent;
Man suffering a grand mal seizure.
Anonymus, approx. 1965 The Symbolism of Epilepsy. Karlheinz Geier (1982), drawing 'What is it? Illustration based on the novel 'Poor Miss Finch' by Wilkie Collins, 1872

Hommage to Vincent

The Symbolism of Epilepsy

What is it?

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Epilepsy motifs in sculpture

Bodo Wentz: Falling sickness I.
Ceramic, 1983 Rasso Rothacker: The Samaritan. Bronze, approx. 1965 Your mind is your force

Falling sickness I

The Samaritan

Your mind is your force

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continue the tour

--> Room 6: famous people who suffered from epilepsy

German Epilepsymuseum Kork - Museum for epilepsy and the history of epilepsy