Diagnosis in Painting

Breast Mass in a Rubens Painting

Davide Lazzeri, Donatella Lippi, Manuel Francisco Castello, and George M. Weisz


Deformity of the breast and axilla observed in famous paintings is a fascinating field for the medico-artists. The attempt of a retrospective diagnosis of breast tumors is highly challenging. This paper deals with a Rubens painting portraying the heroine Judith with a visible but previously unreported left breast mass. Though speculative, the present medico-artistic diagnosis is of a tumor likely to be of benign nature. It is of interest that the present case is the sixth breast disease discovered in Rubens’s works.

Rambam Maimonides Med J 2016;7(2):e0016