Hieronymus Bosch, Cutting the Stone (Extraction of the Stone of Folly)

Museo del Prado, Madrid

Date: 1488-1516
Technique: Oil on panel, 47.5 x 34.5 cm

The stone of folly or the stone of madness refers to a hypothetical procedure in the 15th century involving trepanation and extraction of a stone, thought to be the cause of the patient's madness.



  1. So much ignorance. There is a similar one by Jan Sanders van Hemessen, called "The Stonecutter", 1554-1550. I read that the "surgeon" used to hide the stone and then performed something like a magic trick for it to seem like he took it from the patient skull, who probably died later.


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