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Iconography and nursing – why and how?

Marisa Correia Hirata


This article presents the iconography as a source of research for the nursing history and shows that the act of studying artworks is relevant because they contain collective mental representations. When an art piece pictures healthcare, it will provide us with clues on care activity and also on how, where, and who is practicing it. The author exemplifies and comments on moments of iconographic analysis that is the methodology used to reveal the intrinsic and profound meaning of art works considered, in turn, a society’s depository of beliefs and ideas. Finally, the author emphasizes the pleasant meeting of nursing and art, placing into perspective the importance of care as the basis for the nurse’s professional identity, and looks forward into a future in which nurses can be social, economically, and juridical recognized. 


conography; Iconographic Analysis; Nursing´s History.


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Hirata MC.Iconography and nursing – why and how? . Online braz j nurs [internet]. 2003 Jan [cited month day year]; 2 (2): xx-xx. Available from:



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Online Brazilian Journal of Nursing. ISSN: 1676-4285

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