The Gout

James Gillray British
Publisher Hannah Humphrey British

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Gillray here embodies the pain associated with gout as a small sharp-clawed demon with a scorpian-like tail, snorting fire as it digs its teeth and talons into a man's big toe. The inflammation and associated agony of the condition is caused by excess uric acid in the bloodstream which forms needlelike crystals that accumulate in a joint. Eighteenth-century Britons enjoyed roast beef, beer and port, all of which encourage the formation of uric acid and made gout an all too common affliction.

The Gout, James Gillray (British, London 1756–1815 London), Hand-colored soft-ground etching

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