BROWN, M. E. D. after John NEAGLE
Wm. P. Dewees, MD
[Philadelphia: Published by Lehman and Duval, 1833]. Lithograph. In fair condition with the exception of being trimmed. Missing publication details. Foxing in the margins. Mounted onto contemporary backing sheet. Crease in upper right margin. Image size: 11 5/8 x 9 3/4 inches. Sheet size: 14 7/8 x 11 1/4 inches.
A wonderful lithograph of the famous American doctor William Dewees, who changed the history of obstetrics.
A name destined to become famous in American medicine was Dr. William Potts Dewees. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1789 and began to practice medicine at Abington. A yellow fever outbreak in Philadelphia brought Dewees back to the city where he continued to practive after the crisis had passed. He devoted himself especially to obstetrics, which was at that time a new branch of professional medicine in the United States. Dewees became one of the great midwives of his day and among the first to contend with the professional prejudice against physicians' delivering babies. Through perseverance and dedication, Dewees helped make obstetrics a respected branch of medicine and secured a place for the discipline in the college curriculum.
This striking print by the accomplished lithographer M. E. D. Brown is after a portrait by the Philadelphian artist John Neagle. Neagle earned a reputation as an artist of skill and beauty and soon became one of the most famous portrait painters in Philadelphia. His commanding portrait of Dewees is considered one of his best paintings for the forceful way it illustrates the character and determination of its subject.