Breast cancer in Woman Sitting Half-Dressed beside a stove (1658) by Rembrandt van Rijn

Andreas G. Nerlich, Johann C. Dewaal, Simon T. Donell, Raffaella Bianucci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
5 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The baroque Dutch painter Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (1606–1669 CE) was acquainted with pathological modifications of the breast as shown in the canvas Bathsheba at her toilet (1654 CE); his model, Henrijke Stoffels, was depicted with discoloration of the left breast, peau d'orange and distortion of symmetry with axillary fullness. A diagnosis of breast cancer was initally proposed [1] but was later dismissed in favour of cancer mimickers (tuberculous mastitis [2], lactation mastitis following unsuccessful pregnancy [3], Mondor's thrombophlebitis [4]); this was essentially due to Henrjike's long survival (9 years after the depiction) fairly ruling out advanced breast cancer.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134-135
Number of pages2
JournalThe Breast
Volume64
Early online date5 Jun 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022

Keywords

  • 17th century oncology
  • Art and medicine
  • Breast cancer
  • Iconodiagnosis

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