A Clinical Lesson at the Salpêtrière  

From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

Related e



Une Leçon clinique à la Salpêtrière[1] (A Clinical Lesson at the Salpêtrière, 1887) is a painting by André Brouillet.

Professor Jean-Martin Charcot was well-known for showing, during his lessons at the Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital , "hysterical" woman patients – here, his favorite patient, "Blanche" (Marie) Wittman, supported by Joseph Babinski.


The participants

Except for the four individuals to Charcot's left, the participants are arranged in two concentric arcs: the inner circle displaying "sixteen of his current and former physician associates [arranged] in reverse order of seniority", and the outer, depicting "the older generation of [physician associates] … along with philosophers, writers, and friends of Charcot".

Both Signoret (1983, p. 689) and Harris (2005, p. 471) have identified each of the individuals depicted in Brouillet's tableau; and Signoret (passim) provides substantial biographical details of each.

The Charcot group

The Charcot group of five are (from right-to-left): Mlle. Ecary, a nurse at the Salpêtrière; Marguerite Bottard, the Salpêtrière's nursing director; Joseph Babinski (1875-1933), Charcot's chief house officer; Marie "Blanche" Wittman, Charcot's patient; and Jean-Martin Charcot himself.

The inner window-side group

The six sitting in the window-side of the painting are (from right to left): Paul Richer (1849-1933), medical artist, anatomist and physician (who created the painting on the back wall); Charles Samson Féré (1852-1907), psychiatrist, Charcot's assistant, and Charcot's secretary; Pierre Marie (1853-1940), neurologist; Édouard Brissaud (1852-1909), neurologist and pathologist; Paul-Adrien Berbez (1859-?), physician, student of Charcot, and neurologist; and Gilbert Ballet (1853-1917), destined to be one of Charcot's last chief residents.

The outer window-side group

The six standing at the window-side of the painting are (from right to left): Alix Joffroy (1844-1908), anatomical pathologist, neurologist and psychiatrist; Jean-Baptiste Charcot (1867-1936), Charcot's son, at the time a medical student and, later, a polar explorer; Mathias Duval (1844-1907), Professor of anatomy and histology; Maurice Debove (1845-1920), later Dean of the medical school; Philippe Burty, art collector, critic, and writer (see Philippe_Burty); and Victor Cornil (1837-1908), pathologist, histologist, and politician.

The remaining group

The remainder are either sitting parallel to the back wall, or on the side of the lecture theatre immediately opposite the windows. The remaining thirteen individuals are (from left to right): Théodule Ribot (1839-1916), psychologist; Georges Guignon (1839-1932), neuropsychiatrist, and one of Charcot's last chief residents; Albert Londe (1858-1917), medical photographer, and chronophotographer (wearing an apron); Léon Grujon Le Bas (1834-1907), chief hospital administrator; Albert Gombault (1844-1904), neurologist and anatomist; Paul Arène (1843-1896), novelist; Jules Claretie (1840-1913), journalist and literary figure; Alfred Joseph Naquet (1834-1916), physician, chemist, and politician; Désiré-Magloire Bourneville (1840-1909), neurologist and politician; Henry Berbez, younger brother of Paul-Adrien Berbez (sitting opposite), and a student of Charcot; Henri Parinaud (1844-1905), ophthalmologist and neorologist; Romain Vigouroux, chief of electrodiagnostics, discoverer of the electrical activity of the skin; and, finally, in the apron, Georges Gilles de la Tourette (1857-1904), neurologist and physician.


Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "A Clinical Lesson at the Salpêtrière" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Personal tools