From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
The Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital (Groupe hospitalier Pitié-Salpêtrière) is a teaching hospital located in Paris, France. Part of the Assistance publique - Hôpitaux de Paris, it is one of Europe's largest hospitals.
One of its most famous professors, Jean-Martin Charcot, is often credited as the founder of modern neurology. His teaching activities on the Salpêtrière's wards helped to elucidate the natural history and pathophysiology of many human illnesses including neurosyphilis, epilepsy, and stroke.
The Salpêtrière was originally a gunpowder factory ("salpêtre" being a constituent of gunpowder), but was converted to a dumping ground for the poor of Paris. It served as a prison for prostitutes, and a holding place for the mentally disabled, criminally insane, epileptics, and the poor; it was also notable for its population of rats.
By the eve of the Revolution, it had become the world's largest hospital, with a capacity of 10,000 patients plus 300 prisoners, largely prostitutes swept from the streets of Paris. From La Salpêtrière they were paired with convicts and forcibly expatriated to New France.
During the September massacres of 1792, the Salpêtrière was stormed on the night of 3/4 September by a mob from the impoverished working-class district of the Faubourg Saint-Marcel, with the avowed intention of releasing the detained street-girls; 134 of the prostitutes were released; twenty-five madwomen were less fortunate and were dragged, some still in their chains, into the streets and murdered. Madame Roland, a Girondin supporter of the Revolution in its first liberalising stages, recorded in her Memoirs that the Revolution "has been stained by villains and become hideous".
In the first half of the 19th century, the first humanitarian reforms in the treatment of the violently insane were initiated here by Philippe Pinel, friend of the Encyclopédistes; his sculptural monument stands before the main entrance in Place Marie-Curie, Boulevard de L'Hôpital. Later, when Dr. Jean-Martin Charcot took over the department, the Salpêtrière became known as a psychiatric centre. Charcot is often credited as the founder of modern neurology. His teaching activities on the Salpêtrière's wards helped to elucidate the natural history and pathophysiology of many human illnesses including neurosyphilis, epilepsy, and stroke. Students came from all over Europe to listen to Charcot's lectures. Among them was a young Sigmund Freud.
The Pitié-Salpêtrière is now a general teaching hospital with departments focusing on most major medical specialities.
Numerous celebrities have been treated at the Salpêtrière, including Michael Schumacher, Ronaldo, Prince Rainier of Monaco, Alain Delon and Gérard Depardieu Former president Jacques Chirac had a pacemaker fitted at the Salpêtrière in 2008.
Through its history, the Pitié-Salpétrière hosted famous doctors, among others:
- Jean-Martin Charcot (1825–1893), founder of modern neurology;
- Sigmund Freud (1856–1939), Charcot's student in Paris;
- Joseph Babinski (1857–1932), another Charcot's student;
- Philippe Pinel (1745–1826);
- Jean-Étienne Esquirol (1772–1840);
- Étienne-Jean Georget (1795–1828);
- Ernest-Charles Lasègue (1816–1883);
- Gérard Encausse (1865–1916)
- Jules Bernard Luys (1828–1897)
- Alfred Vulpian (1826–1893);
- Paul Richer (1849–1933), anatomist, collaborator of Charcot;
- Georges Gilles de la Tourette (1857–1904), neurologist;
- Pierre Janet (1859–1947), famous psychologist of the 19th century;
- Maria Montessori (1870–1952), famous pioneer in education;
- Jacques Lacan (1901–1981), famous psychoanalyst;
- Christian Cabrol (1925-), cardiac surgeon, performed Europe's first heart transplantation on April 27, 1968.
- Iradj Gandjbakhch (1931-), cardiac surgeon, performed Europe's first heart transplantation on April 27, 1968 along with Dr. Cabrol.
- Une Leçon clinique à la Salpêtrière, (A Clinical Lesson at the Salpêtrière, 1887), a painting by André Brouillet.
- The Salpêtrière School of Hypnosis
- Louise Augustine
- Salpetriere (Gautier) - 1857 lithograph by Armand Gautier