Title: Ashun, of Ko tung
Secondary Title: Man with disease of maxillary sinus
Description: By Lam Qua, oil on canvas, 18 x 24 inches.
Case Number: 962
Year: 1836
Modern Suggestion: According to the doctors consulted by the Gordon Museum: Carcinoma of the Maxillary antrum with much necrosis (or benign cyst expanding maxilla).
Credit: Courtesy of The Gordon Museum
Dr. Peter Parker's Case History
ouraged the patient to expect only temporary relief. He returned the same night with a promise to come again in three days, his business not allowing him to remain for further treatment. As I have not since heard from him, I presume that the fluid has not again collected."
Additional Commentary
The extreme swelling of the left sinus and the relative absence of background shading, give Lam Qua's rendering of Ashun's face a quasi-cubist two-dimensionality around the cheek. He has choosen to paint the patient in a 3/4 pose with the eyes looking off to the viewer's right, but the growth has pushed the nose, mouth, and cheek in such a way that they address the viewer frontally. Parker's case notes indicate that the patient did not return though he expected the swelling to recur and the doctor takes this as a sign of success. But the account leaves room for another possibility. The carpenter, who had operated on himself before, may have familiarized himself with the tools and techniques employed by "the foreigner" and taken measures once again into his own hands.

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