Goiters in 16 th Century: A Curse Deformity Given to You by God
5 Goiter Sculptures From the Sacred Mountains in Italy
Dionigi G. eta al Thyroid 28(2):153-157
The Iconography of Goiter
Picture of sculpture by Dionigi Bussola (1615-1687) in Piedmont Italy.
The man is not terrifying or violent but is a sick man with possible hyperthyroidism. Note the has distended veins over the goiter.
is shown kneeling to ask to be healed by St.Francis.
The artist was actually seeking out people with goiters. They were considered executioners, tormentors, rascals or simple humble individuals who elicit strong negative reactions.
Sculpture by Giovanni d’ Enrico ( 1559-1644)
This “goiter”executioner is holding Jesus’s feet and nailing him to the cross.
The artist in 16th hundred had no idea about the cause of the swelling in the anterior neck.They were singling out people with neck swelling thought to be due in religious terms as “bad” people. They sought out them to record this unusual deformity and document a widely held religious thought that a body deformity was punishment from God. They were deformed because they were sinners.These sculptures were down in mountain areas where iodine deficient goiter was endemic.
Sculpture by Jan de Wespin 1599
Terrifying face and gestures express violence and cruelty on this executioner as he coerces Jesus to rise.
Sculpture by Gaudenzio Ferrari
This “goiter” man is shown with murderous intent to strike Jesus with the stick.
Most likely an insane person or could he have Graves’Disease with those bulging eyes?
Comment: Today there is no stigmata to having a goiter.You are not thought to be a criminal,insane, other incurable diseases.
Now it causes you local symptoms and still can be a neck deformity that is a cosmetic problem. First reaction is to have surgery. Today with modern alternative therapy options of thyroid ethanol and radiofrequency ablation you can have a thin neck again without the scar.
Details at 1-310-393-8860,or firstname.lastname@example.org or text to 12132559899.
Richard Guttler MD,FACE,ECNU.