The Stone of Madness


Madness has always intrigued artists, and medieval paintings sometimes presented this malady's treatment via the surgical removal of cranial stone. What was the stone of madness? Was it mere fantasy, metaphor or an actual medical condition? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe collect their trepanation tools and investigate.

The Stone of Madness

Image Caption: The extraction of the stone of madness, by Hieronymus Bosch (ca 1450-1516). (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images); Madrid, Museo Del Prado. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)

Related Content:

Artatomical: The Stone of Madness and Folly (contains all three featured images)

Higher Human Forms: Voluntary Trepanation

The Psychedelic Nightmare of Ergotism (podcast)

Art Spotlight: Faustino Bocchi's Dwarf Obsession

Cosmic Canvas: The Garden of Hieronymus Bosch

Was Hieronymus Bosch on drugs? (video)

Artatomical: Matthias Grünewald's Diseased Christ

Heartbeat in the Brain, Hole in the Skull (podcast)

Outside Content:

'Jan de Doot' by Carel van Savoyen (painting)

A Stone Never Cut for: A New Interpretation of 'The Cure of Folly' by Hieronymus Bosch

Topics in this Podcast: middle ages, Anatomy, history, art, symbolism, Surgery