I. Corral, C. Corral Neurosciences and History 2014;2(3):127-128
Type of article: SHORT ARTICLE
I. Corral1, C. Corral2 1Hospital Ramón y Cajal, Madrid, Spain. 2Specialist in Internal Medicine.
We present the first view of an early anatomical study by Spanish neurohistologist Pío del Rio-Hortega (1882-1945), painted between 1905 and 1907 when he was an assistant at the Department of Histology and Anatomical Pathology in Valladolid. The painting was discovered among the papers of José María de Corral García, a physiologist who studied medicine in Valladolid during the same period and would later coincide with Rio-Hortega at the Residencia de Estudiantes in Madrid. Representing the life-sized dissected heart of a patient who died from aortic insufficiency caused by syphilitic aortitis, this watercolour also illustrates Río-Hortega’s artistic training and finely honed drawing skills. This painting is a stellar example of the artistic component of the scientific output from the Spanish school of neurohistology. Both Cajal and Rio-Hortega studied art in their youth, and the histological drawings they completed throughout their scientific careers are a testament to their considerable technical ability and exquisite sense of art.