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BAUMGÄRTNER, Karl Heinrich (1798-1886)

Physiognomice pathologica – Krankenphysiognomik.
[Stuttgart 1839].

First edition in large folio of a remarkable atlas with portraits of patients suffering from various diseases. The text volume in folio is missing. A second edition in octavo format with 80 small plates was published in 1842. Karl Friedrich Baumgärtner, a pupil of Friedrich Tiedemann and Leopold Gmelin at Heidelberg, took his M.D. in 1818, served as medical officer at Rastadt, and became professor of medicine in 1824 at Freiburg. He taught that it was possible to make a correct diagnosis with accompanying medical treatment by studying the patient’s physiognomy, the expression of the face, the colour of the skin, the eyes, the lips, tc. The patients portrayed on the hand-coloured plates suffer from aneurysm of the aorta, asthma, cholera, dysentery, encephalitis, epilepsy, jaundice, hydrocephalus, pleurisy, gonorrhoea, hydrophobia, dropsy, billious fever, stomach cancer, scorbutus, amaurosis, phthisis, pneumonia crycipleas, rheumatic fever, etc. – but also idiocy, imbecillity and other mental debilities such as melancholy, and monomania etc. are depicted. The fine plates were lithographed by B. Herder in Breisgau after the hand-coloured drawings by Karl Sandhaas (1801–1859). His original drawings for Baumgärtner’s atlas were recently discovered and are now in the Institute for the History of Medicine at the University of Freiburg. Sandhaas was an apprentice to his uncle, a court- and scene-painter in Karlsruhe and Darmstadt. Sandhaas worked as a decorative painter in several places in Germany and in 1828 also in Italy. His portraits for the physiognomical atlas were probably executed in the late 1820’s and the patients obviously portrayed at their bedside. Soon after, in 1831, Sandhaas became ”soul-sick” and melancholic. He served as the prototype of the hero in a short story written by H. Hansjacob called Wilde Kirschen (1888).

Collation: Lithographed title leaf and one leaf with list of contents. With 72 hand-coloured lithographed plates with portraits.

Binding: Untrimmed plates loosely preserved in a marbled portfolio.

References: Hirsch, I, 388; Putscher, Geschichte der medizinischen Abbildung von 1600 bis zur Gegenwart, 2te verb. Aufl. (1972), pp 136-39; Hagelin, Rare and Important Medical Books, KIB, pp 170-71. Waller 790 (text and atlas).

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