Venezia header: Piazza San Marco - Riva degli Schiavoni

MEDICO DELLA PESTE

(Plague Doctor Mask)

The "Plague Doctor" may be considered a mask nowadays, but in the old times it was a sad reality.

The mask with the long beak is made to keep in it substances and aromas that it was believed would have protected the doctor from getting contaminated from the plague.

And he used glasses, sort of protective goggles, and a special linen quite smooth coat (maybe waxed fabric) to protect his body.

There was a law in Venice of the "Maggior Consiglio" made on July 16, 1478, stating:


“Medici in tempore pestis
de Venetijs non discedant”.

“Doctors during the plague time
cannot abandon Venice”.

Watercolor by Giovanni Grevembroch: "Medico Industrioso"
Giovanni Grevembroch: "Medico Industrioso"
watercolor (18th century)

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