“Dos grandes frescos donde se mostrata la historia de la cardiologia”: view at the history of cardiology of doctor Ignacio Chávez and artist Diego Rivera. Part 2. From the first blood pressure measuring to modern cardiology

Authors: S.P. Glyantsev1, Yu.D. Pirushkina2

Company: 1 Bakoulev National Medical Research Center for Cardiovascular Surgery, Moscow, 121552, Russian Federation
2 Pirogov Russian National Research Medical University, Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation

For correspondence:  Sign in or register.

Type:  Original articles

DOI: https://doi.org/10.24022/1997-3187-2020-14-2-105-124

For citation: Glyantsev S.P., Pirushkina Yu.D. “Dos grandes frescos donde se mostrata la historia de la cardiologia”: view at the history of cardiology of doctor Ignacio Chávez and artist Diego Rivera. Part 2. From the first blood pres- sure measuring to modern cardiology. Creative Cardiology. 2020; 14 (2): 105–24 (in Russ.). DOI: 10.24022/1997- 3187-2020-14-2-105-124

Received / Accepted:  20.05.2020 / 25.05.2020

Keywords: history of cardiology Mexico National Institute of Cardiology Ignacio Chávez monumental painting Diego Rivera spiral development of society medicine and cardiology.

Full text:  



In 1945, at the National Institute of Cardiology of Mexico in Mexico City, doctor I. Chávez and artist D. Rivera created a fresco that reflects the history of cardiology in portraits and discoveries of its distinguished representatives. The fresco is made in the style of monumental painting (muralism) and is a highly artistic multi-figure wall painting. In part 2 of the article, the content analysis of the right (clinical and diagnostic) half of the mural is carried out. It shows physicians and scientists who have developed instrumental methods for studying of blood circulation and diagnostics of heart diseases (S. Hales, C. Ludwig, E.-J. Marey, S. von Basch and M. Pachon); two pioneers of the study of heart rhythm (J. Mackenzie and K. Wenckebach); doctors who discovered new opportunities for drug therapy of heart diseases (W. Withering, J. Fraenkel, J.-B. de Sénac, W. Heberden) and their physical diagnostics (W. Stokes and L. Traube); L. Galvani, who discovered “animal” electricity, pioneers of radiation methods for diagnostics of heart and vascular diseases (W. Röntgen, F. Moritz, A. Castellanos) and electrocardiography (A.D. Waller, W. Einthoven, T. Lewis and F. N. Wilson); prominent representatives of the clinical pathology of heart defects (S. von Rokitansky, M. Abbott) and clinical cardiology (P. Potain, H. Huchard, L. Vaquez, Ch. Laubry, J. B. Herrick, and P. D. White), which contributed to the institutionalization of cardiology as a social phenomenon. An analysis of the mural and available sources revealed the identities of all 29 scientists depicted on it and briefly reflected their contributions to the development of cardiology. The lower part of the mural is dedicated to the treatment of heart diseases in the peoples of Africa and South America. The authors of the article suggested that the placement of portraits of personalities along spiral lines reflects the social continuity of medical knowledge. Russian and Soviet physicians who, according to the authors, could be placed in the Pantheon of pioneers of world cardiology are also listed (G.I. Sokolsky, S.P. Botkin, G.A. Zakharyin, I.F. Tsion, N.S. Korotkov, N.N. Anichkov, V.P. Obraztsov, N.D. Strazhesco, A.F. Samoilov, G.F. Lang). Given the dual authorship of the mural, we believe that it should be called the Chávez-Rivera’s fresco.


  1. Pirushkina Yu.D., Glyantsev S.P. «Dos grandes frescos donde se mostrata la historia de la cardiologia»: The history of cardiology as interpreted by Ignacio Chávez and the monumental painting of Diego Rivera. Part 1. From the anatomy of Galenus and Vesalius to Purkyně cells. Creative Cardiology. 2020; 14 (1): 35–48. DOI: 10.24022/ 1997-3187-2020-14-1-35-48 (in Russ.)
  2. Lomas D. Painting the history of cardiology. BMJ. 2005; 331 (7531): 1533–35. DOI: 10.1136/bmj. 331.7531.1533
  3. Lewis O. Stephen Hales and the measurement of blood pressure. J. Hum. Hypertens. 1994; 8 (12): 865–71.
  4. Smith I.B. The impact of Stephen Hales on medicine. J. Royal Soc. Med. 1993; 86 (6): 349–52.
  5. Zimmer H.G. The contributions of Carl Ludwig to cardiology. Can. J. Cardiol. 1999; 15 (3): 323–9.
  6. Borodulin V.I. (Ed.) Medical Enciclopaedic Dictionary. Мoscow; 2002 (in Russ.).
  7. Étienne-Jules Marey. Available at: https://www. britannica.com/biography/Etienne-Jules-Marey (accessed January 12, 2020).
  8. Samuel Siegfried Carl Von Basch. Available at: https://www.encyclopedia.com/science/ encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-andmaps/samuel-siegfried-carl-von-basch (accessed January 12, 2020).
  9. Whonamedit? Michel Victor Pachon. Available at: http://www.whonamedit.com/doctor.cfm/3116.html (accessed January 12, 2020).
  10. Waterston D., Orr J., Cappell D.F. Sir James Mackenzie’s heart. Br. Heart J. 1939; 1 (3): 237–48. DOI: 10.1136/hrt.1.3.237
  11. James T.N. The connecting pathways between the sinus node and A-V node and between the right and the left atrium in the human heart. Am. Heart J. 1963: 66 (4): 498–508. DOI: 10.1016/0002-8703 (63)90382-X
  12. Lee M.R. (2005). William Withering (1741–1799), a biographical sketch of a Birmingham Lunatic. JLL Bulletin: Commentaries on the History of Treatment Evaluation. Available at: https://www. jameslindlibrary.org/articles/william-withering1741-1799-a-biographical-sketch-of-a-birmingham-lunatic (accessed January 12, 2020).
  13. Bowman I.A. Jean-Baptiste Sénac and his treatise on the heart. Texas Heart Inst. J. 1987; 14 (1): 4–11.
  14. Lian T.Y., Lim K. The legacy of william heberden the elder (1710–1801). Rheumatology. 2004; 43: 664–5. DOI: 10.1093/rheumatology/keg007
  15. Albert Fraenkel. Available at: https:// peoplepill.com/people/albert-fraenkel-1/ (accessed January 14, 2020).
  16. Pearce J. Cheyne-Stokes respiration. J. Neurol. Neurosurg. Psych. 2002; 72 (5): 595. DOI: 10.1136/ jnnp.72.5.595
  17. Pomerantz B., O'Rourke R.A. The Stokes-Adams syndrome. Am. J. Med. 1969; 46 (6): 941–60. DOI: 10.1016/0002-9343(69)90096-5
  18. Morrison H. Ludwig Traube. Boston Med. Surg. J. 1927; 196 (16): 1097–101. DOI: 10.1056/ NEJM192706301962605
  19. Bresadola M. Medicine and science in the life of Luigi Galvani (1737–1798). Brain Res. Bull. 1998; 46 (5): 367–80. DOI: 10.1016/S0361-9230(98) 00023-9
  20. Tubiana M. Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen et la découverte des rayons X. Bull. L’Acad. Nation. Med. 1996; 180 (1): 97–108.
  21. Tatarinova R.Е. X-ray properties. Science, Technology and Education. 2017; 11 (41): 38–40 (in Russ.).
  22. Friedrich Moritz. Available at: http://www. themitralvalve.org/mitralvalve/friedrich-moritz (accessed January 14, 2020).
  23. Castellanos A., Castellanos A.M. Profiles in cardiology: Agustin W. Castellanos. Clin. Cardiol. 1985; 8: 503–6. DOI: 10.1002/clc.4960080910
  24. Cope Z. Augustus Desiré Waller (1856–1922). Med. Hist. 1973; 17 (4): 380–5. DOI: 10.1017/ S0025727300018998
  25. Rivera-Ruiz M., Cajavilca C., Varon J. Einthoven's string galvanometer: the first electrocardiograph. Tex. Heart Inst. J. 2008; 35 (2): 174–8.
  26. Fisch C. Centennial of the string galvanometer and the electrocardiogram. J. Am. Coll. Cardiol. 2000; 36 (6): 1737–45. DOI: 10.1016/S0735-1097(00) 00976-1
  27. Haas L. Sir Thomas Lewis 1881–1945. J. Neurol. Neurosurg. Psych. 2005; 76 (8): 1157. DOI: 10.1136/jnnp.2004.055269
  28. Schwartze D., Frank N. Wilson and his significance for cardiology. Zeitsch. Ges. Inn. Med. Ihre Gren. 1991; 46 (5): 160–3
  29. Kahn J.K., Howell J. Frank Norman Wilson. Clin. Cardiol. 1987; 10: 616–8.
  30. Gilder S.S. Carl von Rokitansky, 1804–1878. Can. Med. Assoc. J. 1954; 71 (1): 70–2.
  31. Venita J. The Legacy of Karl Rokitansky. Arch. Pathol. Lab. Med. 2000; 124 (3): 345–6.
  32. Carpentier A., Adams D.H., Filsoufi F. Carpentier’s reconstructive valve surgery: from valve analysis to valve reconstruction. Мoscow; 2019 (in Russ.).
  33. Pirushkina Yu.D., Glyantsev S.P. Maude Elizabeth Seymour Abbott (1869–1940): the first systematization of congenital cardiac disease and great arte-ries (1901–1936). Children’s Heart and Vascular Diseases. 2019; 16 (3): 208–20 (in Russ.). DOI: 10.24022/1810-0686-2019-16-3208-220
  34. Cantwell J.D. Pierre – Carl Potain. Clin. Cardiol. 1994; 17 (10): 569–71. DOI: 10.1002/ clc.4960171012
  35. Henri Huchard. Available at: http://www. themitralvalve.org/mitralvalve/henri-huchard (accessed January 14, 2020).
  36. Whonamedit? Louis Henri Vaquez. Available at: https://www.whonamedit.com/doctor.cfm/1689.html (accessed January 14, 2020).
  37. Bedford E. Charles Laubry 1872–1960. Br. Heart J. 1961; 23 (2): 215–8. DOI: 10.1136/hrt.23.2.215
  38. Bedford I. Charles Laubry. Br. Heart J. 1941; 3 (3): 145–6. DOI: 10.1136/hrt.3.3.145
  39. Herrick J.B. Landmark article (JAMA 1912). Clinical features of sudden obstruction of the coronary arteries. By James B. Herrick. JAMA. 1983; 250 (13): 1757–65. DOI: 10.1001/jama. 250.13.1757
  40. Siegel R. The man who discovered coronary thrombosis; James Brain Herrick, 1861–1954. J. Med. Soc. N. J. 1958; 55 (5): 201–4.
  41. Tan S.Y., Kwock E. Paul Dudley White (1886–1973): Pioneer in modern cardiology. Sing. Med. J. 2016; 57 (4): 215–6. DOI: 10.11622/ smedj.2016075
  42. Pérez de Celis E.S. Una mirada a la historia de la cardiología. Los frescos de Diego Rivera en el Instituto Nacional de Cardiología. Elementos. 2007; 14 (65): 13–20.
  43. Chavez I. El Instituto Nacional de Cardiologia en 1964. Mexico; 1964.
  44. Lee H.S.J. (Ed.) Dates in cardiology. A chronological records of progress in cardiology over the last millenium. New York – London: The Parth. Publ. Group; 1999.

About Authors

Sergey P. Glyantsev, Dr. Med. Sc., Professor, Head of Department, orcid.org/0000-0003-2754-836X
Yuliya D. Pirushkina, Student, orcid.org/0000-0002-8062-5187

Chief Editor

Leo A. Bockeria, MD, PhD, DSc, Professor, Academician of Russian Academy of Sciences, President of Bakoulev National Medical Research Center for Cardiovascular Surgery