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Uncanny Eye Illustrations from Georg Bartisch’s Ophthalmodouleia, 1583


Georg Bartisch (1535–1607) was a German health practitioner, a native of Königsbrück, Saxonia, who grew to become, in the terms of the University of Texas, ‘the father of ophthalmology’.

He started his healthcare vocation as just 13, working as an apprentice to a barber surgeon. This was followed by two added apprenticeships to an oculist and a lithotomist. He then labored as an itinerant surgeon in Saxony, Silesia and Bohemia, before settling in Dresden. In 1588, he grew to become court oculist to Duke Augustus I of Saxony.

h/t: flashbak

In 1583, Bartisch made the initial Renaissance manuscript on ophthalmic ailments and eye surgery, Ophthalmodouleia Das ist Augendienst. The book mentioned ocular disorders, surgical methods and devices, and contained an ophthalmic atlas of 92 woodcuts depicting conditions of the eye.

This German-language ophthalmology textbook was printed the vernacular for laymen and non–university-experienced practitioners. Numerous of these diagrams and illustrations had been layered to act as flaps that could be lifted to emulate dissection, illustrating a wide range of ocular health conditions, medical procedures methodology, and instruments. Some of these you can come across recreated in posters, paintings, and other reference books of the field.

His most adventurous procedure was the finish removal of the eyeball and the contents of the orbit, working with a knife-formed spoon which he developed himself.

Even with his talent as a surgeon, Bartisch was a superstitious specific, as he believed that magic, astrology and witchcraft performed a sizeable component in medication. The book’s illustrations involve some of the amulets Bartisch recommended for his sufferers to counter the consequences of the supernatural.



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