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J Urol. 2000 Oct;164(4):1137-42.

Max Brödel (1870-1941) and medical illustration in urology.

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  • 1Department of Urology, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany.



Max Brödel (1870-1941) is known as one of the major medical illustrators of the turn of the last century. Some important aspects of his biography and his influence on illustration in the specialty of urology are discussed.


The German artist Brödel was invited to The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore in 1894 and soon became a well-known illustrator in gynecology. He introduced new innovative art media, such as his carbon dust and stipple board technique to reproduce vivid tissue, while developing an instructive and didactic manner of medical illustration. He is also known as an anatomist and scientist, mainly for his description of an avascular area of the kidney (Brödel's bloodless line) and an improved method of nephropexy using a suture that he designed.


In 1911 Max Brödel became head of the first Department of Art as Applied to Medicine, establishing the profession of medical illustration. In addition to some work for Hugh Hampton Young, his most important influence on urology was through his student William P. Didusch, who was a medical illustrator at the Brady Urological Institute in Baltimore for more than 40 years.


Brödel changed the appearance of medical illustration at the beginning of the 20th century and improved its role in medical literature. Max Brödel should be referred to as the man who put art into medicine.

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