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Peter Parker's Lam Qua Paintings Collection(Gallery View)


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Portrait No. 19


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Other title:
Lu Akwang

Woman, elegantly dressed and coiffed, holdng her daughter. Gangrene of feet.



Resource type:
Oil painting


61 cm x 47 cm

Original format:
Framed, oil on board

Peter Parker Collection

Yale University

Harvey Cushing/John Hay Whitney Medical Library. Historical Library

Date available:

From Peter Parker's Journal, Mar. 8, 1847 "Lu Akwang, an interesting little girl of Honan, 7 years of age. February 9, agreeably to a custom that has prevailed in China for thousands of years, the bandages were applied "a la mode" to her feet, occasioned her excessive suffering, which after the lapse of a fortnight became insupportable, and the parents were reluctantly compelled to remove the bandages, when, as the father represented, the toes were found discolored. Gangrene had commenced, and when she was brought to the hospital, March 8, it had extended to the whole foot. The line of demarcation formed at the ankles, and both feet were perfectly black, shriveled and dry, and nearly ready to drop off at the ankle joint. The left foot separated a few days after, and within about ten days, the right also, leaving the stumps healthy, the granulation rapidly covering the bone and new skin forming at the edge. The friends preferring it, notwithstanding advice to the contrary, they were furnished with the necessary dressings, and the child was treated at home, being brought occasionally to the hospital. The last time she was seen, the right stump had nearly healed over; the other was less advanced in the healing process. Since the occurrence of this case, I have heard, on good authority, of several others similar, a painful comment on the cruelty of this custom, to which millions in China have been subject during many centuries past."