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The Two-Headed Boy of Bengal by Candlelight

"The Two-Headed Boy of Bengal by Candlelight" is copyright    1998 by James G. Mundie. All rights reserved.  Reproduction prohibited.

Pen and ink, 9.5 x 7.5 inches, 1998

In the spring on 1783, a remarkable boy was born in India with a fully formed second head attached to the crown of his skull. Despite this bizarre appendage, the boy was healthy and showed a good chance of living a normal life (if one considers being displayed as freak exhibit by one's parents normal). Fate was not on his side, however, and the boy expired at the age of four from the effects of a cobra bite. The boy's skull now resides in the collection of the Hunterian Museum at the Royal College of Surgeons of England, London.

This piece is something of a self-portrait and vanitas in a manner after one of the Repentant Magdalen paintings by Georges de La Tour.

For more about the Hunterian Museum and the Two-headed Boy of Bengal, please visit James G. Mundie's Cabinet of Curiosities.




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All Images and Text James G. Mundie 2003 - 2010