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Engraving of “The Surgeon” by Lucas van Leyden, 1524

Print: “The Surgeon” by Lucas van Leyden

Print: “The Surgeon” by Lucas van Leyden

Other, NGA_2011-139-35
 
Document Description
Engraving of “The Surgeon” by Lucas van Leyden, 1524.
 
Questions
What individuals are shown in the picture?
List the item shown in the picture.
Describe the scene shown in the picture.
 

Historical Context
In 17th century New Netherlands, barber-surgeons practiced rudimentary forms of medicine that had developed throughout medieval times. The duties of a surgeon included simple tasks like cutting hair, shaving beards and removing lice. The more complex services included extracting teeth, setting bones, and repairing injuries. Surgeons spent a great deal of time leeching and lancing in an effort to prevent or fight infection.
Surgeons in the 17th century used rudimentary techniques to keep people alive in the face of unknown diseases and life-threatening injuries. People sought the help of surgeons for relief of infections, growths, and injuries. Without the presence of medical schools, future surgeons were trained through apprenticeships which began in their early teen years.
 
 
Essential Question
How did surgeons contribute to life in a Dutch colony?
 
 
Check for Understanding
Explain the role of the surgeon in the Dutch colony.