Lhermitte, Leon (French, 1844-1925)

Claude Bernard Performs an Experimental Vivisection, 1889


Reference Type:
Artwork
Image:
Lhermitte.Bernard.jpg
Year:
1889
Notes/Description:
Claude Bernard (1813-1878) played a key role in the development of experimental medicine, never taking anything for granted as he applied the scientific method to his practice. His 1865 publication Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine set the stage for the evolution of clinical research. He is also known for discovering the pancreas’ role in digestion and the glycogenic function of the liver. Another of his discoveries involved vasomotor functions of sympathetic nerves, which he is shown here demonstrating for the first time. Surrounded by his students in his lab at the Collège de France, he performs a procedure on a rabbit as an assistant takes notes. The experiment was described in his book as an illustration of two principles: the appropriate choice of the rabbit, whose cervical sympathetic vascular nerves are different from those of other common lab animals; and the value of hypotheses, even though his was wrong in this particular case. Notes by Mariann Smith
Keywords:
Art
History of Medicine
Surgery
Collection:
Palais de la Decouverte, Paris