How to Draw the Plague Doctor

PlagueDoctorYoutuber Auf Niederlander asked me to draw the Plague Doctor. Who’s he? He was the the doctor that visited plague victims in the 16th and 17th century. This drawing is based on an engraving of “Dr Schnabel” – or Dr Beak – of Rome. in the mid 17th century.

Towns would employ special plague doctors, to visit the sick and dying. their main job was to collect data and organise the removal of bodies.

As the plague was seen as a punishment for sins, he carried a stick to whip people with so they had paid for their sins before the plague got to them!

His coat was made of waxed cloth and the beak was stuffed with herbs and spices to give him a pleasant smell and to fight of the miasma or bad smells that were thought to carry the infection.

Roger Alcock in his safety suit - DFID - UK Department for International Development

Roger Alcock in his safety suit – DFID – UK Department for International Development

When you think about it, Doctor Plague’s protective clothing is not that far removed from those doctors and nurses helping ebola victims today.

Have fun drawing him.

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