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  • Lorna Scheepers

The Plague Doctors


After reading an article on how bird watching can help people through tough times, I stumbled upon another about doctors wearing bird-like masks during the 1656 Plague in Italy and France.

The clothing worn by the plague doctors was intended to protect them from airborne diseases. The costume, used in France and Italy in the 17th century, consisted of an ankle length overcoat and a bird-like beak mask, often filled with sweet or strong smelling substances (commonly lavender), along with gloves, boots, a wide-brimmed hat, and an outer over-clothing garment.


During our current Covid-19 crisis, It seemed fitting to place the two different bird-like “treatments” side by side, whether or not they had the science right.


The Plague Doctors Mixed media, watercolor, collage

12" x 16" on cold pressed paper


Co-bird

Mixed media, water color, collage on paper

12" x 8"


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