An oil painting by 19th-century Cantonese artist Lam Qua shows a woman with a young child seated on her lap. The pair appears healthy at first glance. Fancy blue earrings dangle from the woman’s ears. Red and white flowers adorn her hair.
She gazes down at the child, who has a serene expression. Nothing seems amiss until one notices the child’s feet, which are dark brown and are attached to the lower legs by two bare bones or pegs. The flesh above the ankles is receded and ragged.
Ten of the paintings, depicting nine patients, were the subject of Dermatology Grand Rounds held at the library on April 4.