The "Personification of Medicine" fresco

This 18th-century fresco of the Personification of Medicine can be seen on the ceiling of the old library of the convent next to the Basilica dei Santi Bonifacio ed Alessio all’Aventino in Rome (Piazza Sant’Alessio, 23).


It is a part of a great allegorical painting about the progress of the sciences and the arts (Allegoria del progresso delle scienze e delle arti che scaccia, con la luce di verità e civiltà, le tenebre dell’ignoranza e i fantasmi della menzogna e dell’errore) dating back to 17541.


It represents a physician watching at a uroscopy flask, while an assistant prepares a medication2. Inside the flask a little skeleton can be seen.


A table with the anatomical preparation of the urinary system dangles from the balustrade3.

  • Photos by Massimiliano Ghilardi, courtesy of Paola Cosmacini (February 2019)


- Paola Cosmacini, "Ciencia Médica en el fresco de Sant’Alessio en Roma", ALMA Cultura y Medicina, 2018, 4 (1): 42-56

- Paola Cosmacini, "La scienza medica nell’affresco della biblioteca di Sant’Alessio", Studi Romani, n.s., 2019, I (1), pp. 157-74

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