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Ex-Votos: Multimedia

Everyday Miracles: Medical Imagery in Ex-Votos

June 23, 2014 - August 02, 2014

Location: Gumberg Library, 5th floor

Operating hours

8am-5pm, Monday-Friday

10am-5pm Saturday

Please note: Visitors from outside the Duquesne community should check in at the circulation desk.

ex votos

Image credit: Girl recovers from pneumonia 1925 Courtesy Historia Antiques

This exhibition was developed and produced by the National Library of Medicine.

Image Slideshow

All images appear courtesy of the National Library of Medicine.


Image Credits

Mario Vittorio lies in his bed at home while surgeons perform abdominal surgery. A woman at right prays to Saint Martha for Mario's recovery. "Mario Vittorio 19 May 1898." Oil on tin. Courtesy Giuseppe Maimone Editore, Catania and Mario Alberghina
Carla Gulluffo in the month of March 7, 1904. Woman suffering from tuberculosis, 1904, oil on tin. Courtesy Giuseppe Maimone Editore, Catania and Mario Alberghina
Nunzia Leonardi lies on a hospital operating room table while undergoing abdominal surgery. One doctor performs the surgery while several others assist. Two nurses can be seen supporting the woman's head. From the Chiesa dell'ospedale Santa Marta (Church of the hospital of Saint Martha), Catania, Sicily. "Nunzia Leonardi aged 27 operated on 4 October 1914, Catania." Oil on tin. Courtesy Giuseppe Maimone Editore, Catania and Mario Alberghina.
Pietra Reimondo lies on an operating room table while doctors perform surgery on her back. A small table holds surgical instruments and the excised tissue from Pietra's back. An image of Saint Martha can be seen in the upper right. "A miracle is performed for Pierta Reimondo on 13 June 1924, Catania." Oil on tin. Courtesy Giuseppe Maimone Editore, Catania and Mario Alberghina
"In the year 1924 in the month of February. She was ill with double pneumonia the girl Ygancia Gonzalez and not finding a cure to alleviate it, Saladonia Salor called out to our Most Holy of Talpa, in a few days... her health ...give thanks to God Our Lord and the Most Holy Mary for such a great miracle. We present this retablo as thanks, March 1st, 1925." Girl in bed suffering from double pneumonia, oil on tin, 1925, Courtesy Historia Antiques
Vincenzo Grimaldi has tuberculosis. His physician and several female relatives tend to him in his home while a family member prays to the Martyred Saints Alfio, Cirino,and Filadelfo for his swift recovery, 1927, oil on tin. From the Santuario dei Ss. Martiri Alfio, Cirino e Filadelfo, (Sanctuary of the Martyred Saints Alfio, Cirinio, and Filadelfo), Trecastagni, Sicily.
Santo Sorbello lies in bed while his doctor makes two incisions in his left leg. The doctor's assistant holds a roll of gauze while two other men steady Santo's leg and comfort him by placing their hands on his arm and head. A woman, perhaps his wife or sister, kneels in prayer to Saint Martha for Santo's recovery. "An operation performed 9-12-1933 - a miracle to Santo Sorbello." Oil on tin. Courtesy Giuseppe Maimone Editore, Catania and Mario Alberghina.
A woman with one hand on her head leans over while her eye bleeds into a basin on the floor. A man, probably her husband or brother, kneels with his arms outstretched in prayer to Saints Alfio, Cirino, and Filadelfo. "A miracle is granted by Alfio for Domenico Leonardi, 1959." Oil on tin. Courtesy Giuseppe Maimone Editore, Catania and Mario Alberghina
A woman lies on an operating room table while two surgeons watch over her. The Holy Virgin can be seen among the clouds at the left of the scene. "I give thanks to the Holy Virgin of San Juan of the Lakes (Santicima Virgen de San Juan de Los Lagos) for the miracle of coming out of an operation well. Miss Natalia Peña de Jesus, 26th August 1966." Woman on operating table, oil on canvas board, Courtesy Kalarte Gallery.
"I give thanks to the Most Holy Virgin of San Juan of the Lakes for granting me to come out well from a surgery. Rafael Goche Diaz November 1969." Two surgeons are shown in their scrubs and surgical masks while the boy lies on the operating room table connected to modern medical equipment. 1969, oil in tin, 13-1/5 x 10-1/5, Mexico. Courtesy Historia Antiques.
"I offer these flowers and this retablo to the Virgin of Guadalupe for removing the dangerous operation on the head of my husband Tivurcio, and thus I keep my promise. Lucha Vidal, Cuajimalpa, Mexico DF 12 December 2000." Man after brain surgery, Oil on tin, Courtesy Private Collection.
When my husband Juan Jose died I was very sad and heartbroken because we were in love and I couldn't accept the idea of not seeing him anymore. I prayed to the Virgen asking her to see him and she gave me the gift that every Day of the Dead when I have made my offering altar, my husband appears for a few seconds and thus his image is always intact in my memory and I have consolation to continue living without him. Oil on tin, 2008. Courtesy Private Collection.

Subject Guide

David Nolfi's picture
David Nolfi
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