Article ID: CBB641121129

Henry Tonks and the true face of war (2021)


Wounded faces, deformed, sewn up, assembled. This is the most visible legacy and at the same time the one that no one wants to see of every conflict. Reconstructive plastic surgery was born one hundred years ago during the First World War. Millions of people died, but millions more were severely injured. The trenches of World War I protected the bodies from shrapnel, but not faces. Thus was born the need to reconstruct faces using other parts of the body. Surgeon D. Gillies applied his knowledge of reconstructive surgery in a creative and innovative way to treat severely mutilating facial injuries. Alongside him, the painter and physician Henry Tonks was tasked with making pastel drawings of the facial injuries of wounded soldiers before and after surgery. Through this collaboration with Gillies, Tonks produced a series of portraits of facial injuries that remains unsurpassed to this day for emotional impact, scientific interest, and subtlety of representation.

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Authors & Contributors
Jacyna, L. S.
Comiskey, Carolyn Ward
Fischer, Louis-Paul
Frapat, Jean
Rousset, Chantal
Méroc, Nicolas
Medicina Historica
Histoire des Sciences Médicales
Endeavour: Review of the Progress of Science
Notes and Records: The Royal Society Journal of the History of Science
Medizin, Gesellschaft, und Geschichte
Princeton University Press
Chandler House Press
University of Chicago Press
University of Nevada
Helion & Company
Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura
World War I
Plastic surgery
Medicine and art
Visual representation; visual communication
Starling, Ernest Henry
Dale, Henry Hallett
Cannon, Walter Bradford
Bayliss, William Maddock, Sir
Kazanjian, Varaztad Hovhannes
Tagliacozzi, Gaspar
Time Periods
20th century, early
19th century
17th century
16th century
20th century
United States
Weimar Republic (1919-1933)
International Red Cross

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