The inspiration for the title of this chapter originates in James Gillray’s 1804 print of a patient being bled by his doctor, exemplifying the communicative function of facial expression and its recognition in others (Figure 10.1). Conforming to Humoral Theory, based on the Ancient Greek writings of Hippocrates, bleeding was believed to help restore the body’s natural, healthy balance of vital fluids. Gillray’s draws a distinct contrast between the two faces, especially in their mouths. The patient, who cannot bring himself to look at the procedure, makes the perfect downward grimace of unhappy resignation. His eyes are also cast downwards. But equally well realised is the tension in the mouth of the doctor, the tight ‘pursing’ around the lips constricting the blood supply to make the area pale. Note how the doctor’s eyes are wide open and his brows are raised, indicating his full attention and some trepidation.
- Facial Expression
- Modern History
- Vital Fluid
- Extreme Pain
- Area Pale
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Editors and Affiliations
© 2014 Danny Rees
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Rees, D. (2014). Down in the Mouth: Faces of Pain. In: Boddice, R. (eds) Pain and Emotion in Modern History. Palgrave Studies in the History of Emotions. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137372437_10
Publisher Name: Palgrave Macmillan, London
Print ISBN: 978-1-349-47613-8
Online ISBN: 978-1-137-37243-7