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MEYER, Édouard (1832–1902)

Traité des opérations qui se pratiquent sur l’œil.
Paris, H. Lauwereyns, 1871.

First and only edition of this work on eye surgery which is of special interest as being the first work on ophthalmic surgery illustrated with photographs. It contains the first series of pasted-in photographs of actual operations in a surgery text-book with 22 close-up shots of operations for strabismus, cataract, iridectomy, canthoplasty, etc. Almost certainly performed on dead bodies. The photographer was Dr Montméja, ‘Chef de clinique ophtalmologique’ at the Hopital Saint-Louis in Paris. – ‘Parue en 1868 la Clinique photographique de l’Hopital Saint-Louis regroupe cinquante photographies retouchées et collées sur carton. Cette technique présente l’avantage d’ètre moins coûteuse que les planches gravées ou lithographiées et d’ètre très fidèle à la réalité.‘ Meyer was born in Anhalt, Germany and studied in Berlin, where he was a pupil of Albrecht von Greafe, who adviced Meyer to settle in Paris. In Paris from 1863 he soon acquired a good private practice and also established a private hospital, but acquired a large patient material only when he later bought the clinic of Julius Sichel. In 1865 he was asked by a military physician to control a severe trachoma epidemic in some barracks. He was successful and received for that service the Cross of the Legion of Honour. In 1869 Montméja founded the first periodical on medical photography, the Revue photographique des Hopitaux de Paris. This montly periodical lasted for four years. It was the result of a fruitful collaboration between Montméja and Bourneville, Charcot’s pupil, who was responsible for the photographs of epileptical and hysterical female patients taken at the Salpetrière.

Collation: Pp VIII, 275, (1). With 190 wood engravings in the text, drawn by Léveillé and engraved by Badoureau. At the end are 22 plates on thick boards with mounted albumen photographs.

Binding: Contemporary brown half calf, gilt decorated spine (Axel Engström, Stockholm).

References: Albert 1555; Hirschberg/Blodi § 1267-68; Pujard, R. / M. Sicard / D. Wallach, À corps et `raison. Photographies médicales 1840-1920. Exhibition organized by Mission Patrimoine photographique, Paris, 1995). Kolla: Simon Finch: Montmeja, Revue photographique.

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