Title: Lew Akin
Secondary Title: Girl with tumor on hip
Description: oil on canvas 24 x 18 in., ca. 1837
Tumor: Steatomatous tumour
Case Number: 3000
Year: 1837
Modern Suggestion: According to the doctors consulted by the Gordon: A lipoma with central calcification or is this a case of benign congenital sacrocoxygeal teratoma with predominantly adipose and chondroid tissues?
Credit: Courtesy of The Gordon Museum
Dr. Peter Parker's Case History
On 27 April, the usual indemnity being given by the patient, the tumour was removed in two minutes and fourteen seconds.
Additional Commentary
Unlike most other portraits of patients with growths on the leg or back, Lam Qua posed Lew Akin seated on a stool looking rather demurely over her right shoulder, restoring to her a kind of balance and poise, of which, according to the case notes, the tumor had deprived her when walking or in a standing position. The cutaway robe reveals not much more than is necessary to represent the tumor, perhaps suggesting or in deference to her youth. The light source emerges from the viewers right and falls with equal intensity on the giant ball-joint like growth and the patient's youthful and almost questioning face. Add to these elements the delicate orderliness of the fingers of the right hand at rest, and we see how Lam Qua's image focuses the tension between the normal and the pathological.

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