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Saints Cosmas and Damian were early Christian martyrs who practised medicine and surgery without payment according to their legend, and were therefore represented to the lay public as medical ideals. In this Spanish altarpiece they appear in a vision, dressed in the full finery of academic doctors as they perform the miracle of transplanting a leg. The vision is described in a medieval book called 'The Golden Legend', written by Jacobus de Voragine.
oil on wood
H 169 x W 133 cm (E)
purchased by Henry S. Wellcome, c.1900–1936