Sensory Loss

The Senses Rembrandt (1624)

Image in the public domain

Rembrandt’s picture depicts the five senses, four are pictured her:

  1. A Pedlar Selling Spectacles (Allegory of Sight)
  2. Three Singers (Allegory of Hearing)
  3. Unconscious Patient (Allegory of Smell)
  4. Stone Operation (Allegory of Touch)

The whereabouts of his fifth painting depicting taste is unknown.

What picture might you chose to depict the sense of taste?

This is my choice:

Vertumnus, the Roman God of the seasons Guiseppe Arcimboldo 1590-1 

Skokloster castle, Sweden.

Image in Public Domain

There are some interesting English idioms relating to the senses. What meaning do they convey?


  • In the blink of an eye 
  • Out of sight, out of mind 
  • The apple of my eye
  • To see things eye to eye 
  • To turn a blind eye 


  • Ears are burning 
  • Nothing between your ears 
  • Out on your ear 
  • To bend someone’s ear 
  • To keep your ear to the ground 


  • To follow your nose 
  • To smell a rat 
  • To sniff around/out 
  • To turn your nose up at something 
  • Under someone’s nose 


  • A bad taste in your mouth 
  • An acquired taste 
  • In poor taste 
  • To give someone a taste of their own medicine 
  • To taste blood 


  • Touch wood
  • To hit a nerve 
  • To keep in touch 
  • To touch base 
  • Touch-and-go 

Synaesthesia is a perceptual phenomenon in which stimulationof one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway.

The earliest recorded case of synaesthesia is attributed to an academic and philosopher John Locke,who, in 1690, made a report about a blind man who said he experienced the colour scarlet when he heard the sound of a trumpet.

37-67 Daniel Mullen (2019)

This picture has been short listed for the Aesthetica Art Prize 2019. It is a representation of the phenomenon of Synaesthesia as experienced by the artist’s partner.


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Taste and Smell

The senses of taste and smell are interrelated.

Read this blog about what it is like to live with anosmia (no sense of smell)

Did you know William Wordsworth suffered from anosmia as he had Kallmann Syndrome?

Perfume, The Story of a Murderer Patrick Süskind

Patrick Suskind’s classic novel provokes a terrifying examination of what happens when one man’s indulgence in his greatest passion—his sense of smell—leads to murder.

Smelling salts are associated with healing.

La Mauvaise Nouvelle MargueroteGerad 1804 Loouvre Collection

Public domain


This artist explores Phantom limb pain

The sculptures of Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth are great resources to consider the sensation of touch.