Goiter in Representational Art

Francesco Trimarchi, Enio Martino, Luigi Bartalena


Goiter, defined as an enlargement of the thyroid gland, has been, since the origin of the human species, one of the most common non-communicable diseases. Because iodine is required for thyroid hormone synthesis, diffuse and/or nodular goiter, resulting from a persistent thyroid stimulation, represents the adaptive response to adverse environmental conditions, namely nutritional iodine deficiency. Endemic goiter, defined on a pure epidemiologic basis (i.e., a condition affecting more than 10% of the general population), was widely present in large parts of Europe and Mediterranean area as the predominant iodine deficiency disorder (IDD).


Goiter-Representational, Art, Iodine,deficiency, Renaissance, Modern Art

Full Text:



1. Olivieri, A., Trimarchi, F., Vitti, P. (2020). Global iodine nutrition 2020: Italy is an iodine sufficient country. J Endocrinol Invest. 43(11),1671-1672.

2. Ruggeri R., M., Trimarchi, F. (2021). Iodine nutrition optimization: are there risks for thyroid autoimmunity? J Endocrinol Invest. 44(9):1827-1835

3. Trimarchi,F., Martino,E., Tanda, M.L., Bartalena, L. (2021). Graves’ orbitopathy: lessons from RepresentationalArt , APMB - Atti della Accademia Peloritana dei Pericolanti Classe di Scienze Medico Biologiche. 109(1) ,SD2 1.11, https://doi.org/10.6092/1828-6550/APMB.109.1.2021.SD2.

4. Toni, R., Barbaro, F., Di Conza, G. et al.(2022). Nodular goiter and laryngeal anatomic variant in two portraits of the hellenistic dramatist Menander. J Endocrinol Invest45, 2203–2204.

5. Bianucci, R., Galassi, F.M., Donell, S.T. et al.(2022). Goitre in a Fayum mummy portrait from Roman Egypt (120–140 CE). J Endocrinol Investdoi: 10.1007/s40618-022-01934-z .Epub ahead of print.

6. Trimarchi, F., Martino, E., Bartalena, L. (2021).The Virgin Mary with a small goiter breastfeeding the Child. J Endocrinol Invest44, 641–642.

7. Trimarchi, F., Russo, G. (2016).Antonello da Messina: Virgin Annunciate. J EndocrinolInvest39, 257–258

8. Pozzilli, P., Lazzeri, D. (2020). The Altarpiece of Saint Joseph’s Church in Scicli (Sicily). J Endocrinol Invest43, 121–122

9. Bianucci, R., Galassi, F.M., Donell, S.T. et al. (2021). Nodulargoiter in Pontormo’s “Epifania Benintendi” (ca. 1520). J EndocrinolInvest44, 2529–2531

10. Accorona, R., Torretta, S. , Pignataro, L. (2020). A goitrous model for Bartolomeo Vivarini (1432–1499). J EndocrinolInvest43, 1179–1180.

11. Sena L.M., Riva, M.A. (2022). An ugly man with a bi-lobar goiter. "Christ and the Adulteress" (c. 1506) by Nicolò de Barbari. J Endocrinol Invest. Jul 8. doi: 10.1007/s40618-022-01851-1. Epub ahead of print.

12. Dionigi, G., Dionigi, R. (2022). Goiter in a fresco by Simone Peterzano, master of Caravaggio (1578–1582, Garegnano Charterhouse, Milan). J EndocrinolInvest45, 1607–1608

13. Dionigi, G., Dionigi, R. (2022). Goiter in a Fresco by Giovanni Luigi Valesio (1611, Church of Saints Eusebio and Vittore, Peglio, Como). J EndocrinolInvest45, 1801–1803

14. Dionigi, G., Dionigi, R. (2021). Fresco of the martyrdom of saint Lawrence and Goiter (church of Saints Peter and Paul, thirteenth century, Biasca, Canton of Ticino, Switzerland). J Endocrinol Invest44, 389–390

15. Paladino, M.E., Riva, M.A. (2022).The sponge-bearer suffers from goiter: “The Passion of Christ” (c. 1530) by Fermo Stella. J Endocrinol Invest45, 1463–1464

16. Riva, M.A., Cambioli, L. (2022).A damned soul with goiter. “The life of Christ” (c. 1480) by Giovanni Martino Spanzotti. J Endocrinol Invest45, 905–906

17. Dionigi, G., Dionigi, R. (2020). Goiter drawing in Ulrich Boner’s Der Edelstein Codices PalatiniGermanici 794. J Endocrinol Invest43, 1831

18. Pozzilli, P., Villa Giovanni, C.F. (2022).A beautiful image of the thyroid in an apparently healthy young boy. J Endocrinol Invest Aug 9. doi: 10.1007/s40618-022-01850-2. Epub ahead of print.

19. Ashrafian, H. (2022). Differential diagnosis of a thyroid mass, facial malar rash and ptosis on the flora in the primavera by Sandro Botticelli (1445–1510). J Endocrinol Invest45, 687–689

20. Traversari, M., Rühli, F.J., Gruppioni, G. et al.(2016). The “Lost Caravaggio”: a probable case of goiter in seventeenth-century Italy. J Endocrinol Invest39, 1203–1204

21. Trimarchi, F., Martino, E. ,Bartalena, L. (2020).The multinodular goiter of the virtuous Roman matron Lucretia by Artemisia Gentileschi. J Endocrinol Invest43, 701–702

22. Trimarchi, F. (2016). Judith and her Maidservant: a goitrous heroin in two masterpieces. J Endocrinol Invest39, 1357–1358

23. Dionigi, R., Trimarchi, F. , Dionigi, G. (2020). Shepherds with enormous goiters in a Christmas nativity scene (XVI century). J Endocrinol Invest43, 553–554

24. Dionigi, R., Zhang, D. ,Dionigi, G. (2020).Will the shepherd be able to play the alpine horn with that huge goiter (XVI century)?.J Endocrinol Invest43, 873–874

25. Nerlich, A.G., Galassi, F.M., Donell, S.T. et al. (2022). Early sixteenth century gargoyle figurine with evidence of massive multinodular hyper-vascularisedgoitre and superior vena cava syndrome. J Endocrinol Invest

26. Accorona, R., Gazzini, L. ,Calabrese, L. (2019).The muses of Pre-Raphaelites had goiter. J Endocrinol Invest42, 1513–1514

27. Trimarchi, F., Martino, E. (2021).“The Salutation of Beatrice” by Dante Gabriel Rossetti: it was not Beatrice who had goiter but her model. J Endocrinol Invest44, 2857–2858

28. Martino, E., Macrì, L. , Trimarchi, F. (2022).Goiter in the models of Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. J Endocrinol Invest45, 1461–1462

29. Trimarchi, F., Martino, E., Bartalena, L. (2020). A thyroid nodule in a young Sicilian princess in 1900. J Endocrinol Invest43, 699–700

30. Trimarchi, F., Martino, E., Bartalena, L. (2020).The artist’s wife with a simple nontoxic goiter. J Endocrinol Invest43, 1043–1044

31. Trimarchi, F., Martino, E., Bartalena, L. (2021).A young lady with goiter by Mario Sironi (1885–1961). J Endocrinol Invest44, 207–208

Pinhas-Hamiel, O. (2022). Portrait of Pauline by Julius Hübner (1806–1882). J Endocrinol Invest Jul 6. doi: 10.1007/s40618-022-01846-y. Epub ahead of print.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.13129/1828-6550/APMB.110.2.2022.SD2


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2022 Francesco Trimarchi, Enio Martino, Luigi Bartalena

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.