History of Medicine
The Nurse by Jose Perez
(Oil on Canvas, 24 in x 30 in, 61.5 cm x 77 cm)
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Nursing has been defined as both art and science, Florence Nightingale having called it the finest of the arts. In this painting, Perez reinforces the notion that nursing is not merely a technique, but a process that incorporates the elements of soul, mind, and imagination.
Art, music, flowers, a Superman T-shirt -- this patient is really "king for a day." But there's an extra-special reason for this treatment, because Perez has painted himself as the patient, even to the get-well card above the bed reading "Dear Jose."
Every art gallery has its nursing saints, nurturing mothers, healing miracles, sickbeds and lying-in chambers, but Perez has placed his nurses in a whimsical sickroom that symbolizes the child in all of us. He fondly remembers his "sick-in-bed" school days when he was pampered with all kind of special privileges. The piñata is from his childhood in Mexico, the crayons and coloring books show that his artistic talents also go back to those days, and the brushes in the lower left-hand corner make the transition from his childhood fantasies to his adult talents.