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Pinel Unchains the Insane, from "The History of Medicine"

Accession Number

Pinel Unchains the Insane, from "The History of Medicine"

Robert Thom

Object Creation Date
circa 1952

Medium & Support
oil on canvas

49 3/4 in. x 40 1/4 in. ( 126.37 cm x 102.24 cm )

Credit Line
Collection of the University of Michigan Health System, Gift of Pfizer Inc.

Physical Description
The Father of Psychiatry, French physician Philippe Pinel, in 1795 ordered chains and fetters removed from insame women in the Salpêtrière, large Parisian hospital. Two years earlier, he had similarily unchained insane men in the Bicêtre. Despite political and medical opposition and uncertainties of life during the hectic period of the French Revolution, Pinel persisted in replacing cruelty and inhumanity with understanding, kindness, and rational therapy. His success in curing and relieving patients suffering from mental diseases opened new perspectives for psychiatric research and practice.

Primary Object Classification

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medicine (discipline)

& Author Notes

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