Title: Wan Waekae
Secondary Title: Man with Facial Tumor
Description: oil painting 24 x 18 in., ca. 1838
Tumor: Tumor of the skin
Case Number: 5119
Year: 1838
Modern Suggestion: According to the doctors consulted by the Gordon: Neurofibromatosis (von Recklinghausen's disease)with large pendulous neurofibroma
Credit: Courtesy of The Gordon Museum
Dr. Peter Parker's Case History
Dr Parker recorded that the tumour was "lighter than a sarcomatous tumour of the same magnitude, possibly in consequence of it’s cannular structure." He discusses the pathology in detail and provides a note of a patient taking his own discharge.
Additional Commentary
Lamqua's striking use of the profile pose, concealing the face behind the hanging tumor imparts to this image a, perhaps, more conventially clinical (by modern standards)appearance. I suggest that the display of what is evidently the patient's nipple lends the image an odd poignancy. The natural brownish pink pigmentation of the areola sits delicately in tension with the ominous yet similar growth. The normal morphology subtily takes on a tumorous aura--the tumoresque--and the tumor, that swirling, "unsightly jewel," with its bumpy echoes behind the ear and along the jawbone seems to implicate the rest of the body.

The Mysteries of Lam Qua: Medical Portraiture in China 1836 - 1855
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