Giovanni Battista Morgagni in the murals of Diego Rivera at the National Institute of Cardiology of Mexico City

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Abstract

The Italian physician Giovanni Battista Morgagni was the founder of the clinico-anatomical method. His masterpiece De sedibus, et causis morborum per anatomen indagatis represented a major breakthrough in the history of medicine. In the murals of Diego Rivera at the National Institute of Cardiology, Morgagni appears at the center of the fresco. With his left index finger points to the chest of a dying patient with a bulging pulsating aortic aneurysm below the left clavicle, and with his right hand, that holds a scalpel, shows the aneurysm found at the autopsy table. With this striking image the clinico-anatomical method is succinctly depicted. Professor Ignacio Chávez, the founder of the National Institute of Cardiology, gave the artist the elements to draw Morgagni, but the disposition and the importance of Morgagni in the fresco were due to the talent of Rivera.

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