Taking its name from the 18th-century Nepali painting, the ‘Ayurvedic Man’, this exhibition showcases an exquisite range of material from Wellcome’s historical collections, including Sanskrit, Persian and Tibetan manuscripts, vibrant gouache paintings, erotic manuals and animal-shaped surgical tools.
Ayurveda, translating as ‘the knowledge of long life’, is a centuries old but ever-evolving set of medical practices from South Asia. Today it continues to be transformed by biomedical and cultural exchanges. However, several questions remain: Who owns medical heritage? And what is the contemporary relevance of collections built from colonial encounters?