Dr. Samuel Jean Pozzi

Dr. Pozzi in his 60s

Dr. Pozzi
Photo from postcard

Dr. Pozzi

(Dr. Pozzi's daughter)

Medal awarded Dr Pozzi by the French Medical Society

Pozzi - medal

Letter - Marcel Proust to Madame Straus, (on the death of Pozzi,
15 June 1918)

Pozzi Family Tree
compiled by Alain Bugnicourt

Dr Samuel-Jean Pozzi Website
by Francesca Miller



Dr. Samuel Jean Pozzi at Home 
John Singer Sargent -- American painter 
Armand Hammer Museum of Art, UCLA
Oil on canvas
202.9 x 102.2 cm (79 3/8 x 40 1/4 in.)
 Jpg: Art Renewal Center

Dr. Samuel Jean Pozzi  (1846-1918)

Subject: Major Paintings
From: Georgie @
Pen Drago  n1969@aol.com
Date: 3/12/ 2001 

I've seen in person in the Armand Hammer collection and was just hoping to find it here [in Major paintings] . . . 

It's a portrait, but more than a piece of a singular subject, it's an "ode to red" featuring an individual. "Red" with a face, one might say. The way our tour guide at the Armand Hammer exhibit made the piece memorable was by introducing us to the doctors slender, graceful hands, and then at the end, mentioning Dr. Sam's prowess as a gynecologist. Also, the red. -- the swoop of red leading up to this bearded countenance, the distant look-- was the doctor personality more towards that spectrums end, like a sultan at home? A Jack the Ripper? Jekyll or Hyde? As in "Rebel Without A Cause" (a perhaps ludicrous juxtaposition here) the colour red stood as a warning when James Dean dawns the red jacket, trouble is brewing; or is it a passionate happenstance? The dreamy-faced Pozzi, with the eloquent, unconscious gesture of the hand across the lapel -- where is his mind? On his work? Or his pleasure? Did Sargent's portrait land him a prophetic career, or did he just cut a fine figure in red? 

After viewing this work at the Hammer collection, we were led around by the nose and were asked to find what caught the eye in each painting. Usually it was a red line that introduced the eye to the characters and their action such as Moreau's "Dance of Salome" or the red bed stand in one of Wyeth's "Helga" pieces. I believe only Van Gogh didn't pass the red test, but we can forgive the poor fellow, after all he did believe in outlining.



From Natasha

Yes the mystery of why red is so devilishly delicious. If Sargent is making a statement, and I personally believe he is, then it couldn't have been more appropriate for this subject. Our dear doctor was quite the womanizing surgeon and gynecologist with a magnetic personality. So magnetic (if I could use the pun) that he attracted a bullet from an angry patient which sealed his fate many years later. That, it seems, was an aberration (though a fatal one) since he was reportedly a very charismatic man. When Sargent painted him, he was rumored to have had at least two affairs with very renown patients, one of which was Madame Pierre Gautreau (the famous Madame X) another was the world famous actress Sarah Bernhardt.

The painting defiantly works on that level, but there are other things to consider in the motivation of Sargent. He had been experimenting with some of the ideas that Whistler had been presenting. Sargent was doing his own "Studies in Black", "Studies in White" and now, here, he had an opportunity to continue in these chromatic themes. What better subject to have a "Study in Red" than the famous Doctor Pozzi. 

So, I think he did both: cut a beautiful figure in red, AND made a statement about the personality of his subject.

What you were able to see in person, and what isn't quite captured in this image, is the deep crimson carpet and lush velvet drapes behind him. Everything in this painting just exudes the color red.

The long slender hands is interesting for a number of reasons. Certainly given his profession it brings curious notice to them. That is intentional -- I think; but Sargent would paint long slender hands on a number of his portraits. It seems to have been quite fashionable in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century to have your likeness painted with long slender hands and was fashionable with the French and La Belle Époque (why?). You can see it in Paul Helleu Sketching, The Black Brook  and Mrs. Hugh Hammersley to name a few. 

Why long slender hands?

This really made me wonder. I don't remember any discussion of it in the Sargent literature. I'm speculating here, but I think the fashion comes from a bit of a European class distinction -- not overtly but subconsciously. 

To have long slender hands is to say that these are not the hands of a mere worker. On a woman it might say: here is a "Lady" of some breading and wealth. A lady whom has never lifted a finger to wash a garment, cook a meal, or work in the fields. On a man it might say: these are the hands of a "Gentleman" not associated with that tasteless endeavor of "business" -- certainly not a laborer; or possibly he is a "professional," (not quite as nice but they count our money and keep us healthy); or it might be the skilled delicate hands of an artisan (really quite lowly people, on the whole, but it's those poor devils that entertain us, paint us, so we'll keep them around for amusement).

The whole history of art reflects changes in societal values towards beauty in body type. Karl Marx was just dead wrong -- or is he just dead? I forget. It wasn't the workers, but the middle class who won the class-war -- at least as it stands now. They/we (whatever) would win by shear numbers. The idle rich are just idle now and contribute little to society. Work is championed, admired, rewarded. Bill Gates is our king, Madonna is our queen, and Elton John has been knighted (hasn't he?). A rising tide lifts all boats -- and all that other stuff. Now, we are beyond that and body type doesn't mean anything to us anymore. . . Right? 

She asked rhetorically

Editor's Note -- Please jump to Adam Sutcliffe's article on Dr Pozzi which is followed by a discussion of his article (go to)

From: Adam Sutcliffe 
Adam.  Sutc  liffe@five.tv
Date: Fri, 19 Oct 2001 

 .  . .you mention that Pozzi received a bullet from an angry patient "which sealed his fate many years later". Can you give me more details of this - are there any sources I can read? In what way was Pozzi's fate sealed?

From Natasha

I was a bit too coy about "the bullet that sealed his fate." What I meant by that was he was murdered by an angry patient from a gunshot wound. I got this from Kilmurray and Ormond's "John Singer Sargent : The Early Portraits (The Complete Paintings , Vol 1)" I checked it out of the library oh . . .  almost three years ago now and draw this from memory. I do distinctly remember that it left me wanting to know more about the circumstances of his death which they didn't really go into. There was only like another sentence given to the topic and if I remember correctly. They only added that it was NOT a result from a jilted lover or husband. That was my first thought (and probably yours) and probably everyone else as well so I remember being a little disappointed to learn that reason for his demise wasn't the obvious. But they really didn't go into any depth about his death. I didn't add that to my write-up because I'm a bit fuzzy on if I'm remembering that correctly, and anyway, I like to chose to sort of leave it with the notion that maybe he had it coming.

(Isn't that terrible that I'd say such a thing?)

But back to "Complete Paintings -- it's a great book. At the very least make a point of looking it up at a bookstore or Library.


From: Linda Hollander
Lin da5  051@aol.com>
Date:  Sun, 27 Jan 2002 

Dear Natasha, 

I just wrote to you via your website, but I could only write 200 words. I was fooling around with Dr. P and up you popped, which is odd because I have been doing this for almost 2 years and you are a new site! 

I have been doing research on this guy for a long time, and I have very little.  If you have ANYTHING that might be useful to me, I would greatly appreciate it if you would pass it along...I noticed in your correspondence with the man who did the critique of the painting [Adam Sutcliffe's essay and forum]  that you referred to Fairbrother and Kilmurray and I have corresponded with both of them. Most of the information I have is from footnotes in contemporary biogs of Sargent and his friends. Amazing stories!!  I went to Paris for a month last year to do research with his private papers and discovered that most of them are still privately held by a grandson, who is not willing to give them to a biographer. There is a biography that was written by a Belgian gynecologist in the early '90's, but it has never been translated and it didn't even sell well when it was published (my theory is that the grandson  . . . sabotaged the work  . . ....but hey!  that's just my opinion!!)  The family CERTAINLY doesn't want any of Dr. P.'s escapades to surface, which I find ludicrous, since everyone involved is VERY dead .  You may be interested to know that one of the rumors circulating about Dr P.'s murder is that he was shot by the disgruntled husband of a lover --------- with Dr. P. being 73 at the time!  This guy was amazing... 

There are strong theories about the red in the painting, and the robe, that you and your correspondent had such an interesting conversation about, please see Dr. Fairbrothers critique about the painting and its referent to Velasquez. 

I am so excited to find you I can hardly stand it, and I am so hoping to hear from you soon. 

I remain 

Yours truly, 

Linda Hollander 

Editor's Note -- In Trevor Fairbrother's book "John Singer Sargent", 1994, P. 40, he states "In terms of a concerted formal play of reds and crimsons, the most famous precedent is Velázquez' Innocent X" He goes on to say that Sargent would have most certainly seen this famous painting in Rome prior to painting Pozzi.


Innocent X
c. 1650

From: Natasha Wallace
Date:  Wed, 30 Jan 2002 

Dear Linda,

It's really a kick to hear from you and I loved your note. Google search engine has me listed right at the top but others don't list me at all that I can see -- I don't know why. You finally found me that's the important part

Wasn't Adam's piece on Dr. P just fantastic?! And he was such a good sport about my criticism, I think he understood the more I like something the harder I'm going to be on it. And I LOVED his writing, the whole thing makes for a good read.

I wish I could help you more, but my whole goal here is to lay everything out that I know, as much as I know and I don't think I've left anything on the table. All my information (on Dr. Pozzi that is) is from established Sargent writings. And what I've found was that Kilmurray and  Ormond's book was the most informative out of all I read. So I'm sure your way ahead of me on that.

Yours in kindred heart

Natasha Wallace

From: Linda Hollander
Lin  da5  051@aol.com
Date:  Thu, 31 Jan 2002 

Oh, I'm so glad to hear from you!  I also wrote to Adam, and he wrote back as well.  You can't imagine how wonderful it is to be corresponding with people who share my (extremely) esoteric interest!!  I mean it's one thing to be interested in Sargent, and at the moment it's even fashionable (although when I was at school in Boston, the Public Library murals were seen as a joke!) (And they are soooooo beautiful).  But Dr. Pozzi has simply passed out of the public eye, although he was extremely famous in his day.  Extremely!  As a physician, he was very, innovative (as you can tell from Adam's article) and he also was very active in the Public Hospital of Paris, helping the poor of the city, especially the women.  There was a very large plaque with a dedication to him over the door of the hospital, but when they moved after the War, the plaque broke, and it was never replaced! 

There is really nothing about him that I could find anywhere in Paris, which to me is extremely sad.  In Bergerac France, where he was born (and from which point he served in the French senate) there is Dr. Pozzi boulevard, and they renamed the hospital after him.  25, 000 people attended his funeral, and yet, there is NO mention of that fact in any biography of Sarah Bernhardt's (they were lovers and friends for 40 years), nothing in any biographies of his best friend...there's just nothing about him anywhere but in vague footnotes of obscure biographies..........there is some stuff in Proust biographies because he was a model for a character in Prous'ts great book, and because he was a friend of Proust's father and brother who were both doctors.  I just keep hitting brick walls, and I want to know everything!! 

 . . . the reason the grandson does not want any Pozi stuff published is out of respect for Mrs' Pozzi.  The grandson never knew his grandfather, but he did know his grandmother, who probably did not have one kind thing to say about her husband...they were not close at all, although they never divorced.  He was not only a great philanderer, he wanted a divorce to marry another woman, and she wouldn't give it to him.  They basically lived separate lives in the same house for years -- which is sad, because apparently they married for love.  Incidentally, Mme Pozzi did not like the portrait because she thought Sargent made Sam's beard to blue!!  All the other things there are to complain about and this is what she chooses?  She sounds none too bright!! 

I could go on and on and on and on........I loved hearing from you.  Please feel free to write again.  Tell me how you started this web site.  it is wonderful...I just read the "Bert" article.........who is he?  who are you?  Where do you live?  what do you do? 

I am a retired technical writer now working with high school freshmen.  I also am a Gertrude Stein scholar and perform her work in a one-woman show.  I am married and have 2 girls, Jessica and Emma.  Jessica graduated from Bryn Mawr College in 2000, and Emma is graduating from high school in June.........busy life, lots of fun. 

Date: Sun, 3 Feb 2002 

When I was in Paris last year, looking at Pozzi's papers at the Biblitheque Nationale, I kept wondering why this story has not been told and told until it is mythic, you know what I mean?  that's how large a figure he was.....I was at the Opera, and I just was walking around, and looking into the boxes and standing on the little Juliet balconies trying to conjure him up.  then I walked into one of the open boxes...it is soooooooo strange, the boxes are Pozzi-robe red!  And the entryway is so narrow that a) it is like a womb, and b) I kept wondering HOW the women could get through there with their big dresses!!  AND, there is a BIG mirror to the right as you  go into the box. 

Elaine Kilmurry told me that people said they did not want Dr. Pozzi to operate on them if there was a mirror in the room (because he was so vain)!  that cracked me up, but then I also read that he taught his students that when operating, no blood should ever be on the surgeon.  to illustrate, he had special evening clothes made---white evening clothes, and he would go directly from the OR to the Opera!!  Clean as a whistle!!  He must have been amazing!!   . . .there are lots of papers at the Bib nationale, but not very much is personal, especially among his own papers, although there is a lot of stuff in Sarah Bernhardt's papers and n Robert de Montequiou's papers (they were very very close friends)... 

Honest to God, his affair with Madame X is an amazing story (remind me to tell you about it if I forget because You will just roll over and DIE!), the affair with Sarah Bernhardt was highly dramatic and they stayed very close to each other until the day he died......he supervised the operation to remove her leg!  She called him "Dr. Dieu"!  and THEN, this affair with Augustine Bulteau!!  And there were so many more.......I am fairly sure that he was Colette's physician, but I wrote to her biographer and she didn't have any info for me.........what can I say!!  the material is so juicy, I think you would have to be dead not to be fascinated, so I can NOT understand why there haven't been movies, plays, etc. about this guy  (there was a ballet though...have you seen that website? It is www.soluri.com/MadameX).  He lectured in America at least three, maybe four times.  I saw a note he wrote to a doctor at Harvard that was written in perfect English, so he obviously was bi-lingual..........oh, God, it has just occurred to me that I could be boring you stupid.....however, as you said at the beginning of your note to me, we are obviously BOTH familiar with obsessions!!! 

Date: Sat, 9 Feb 2002 

Speaking of Proust, do you know anything about him?  I think I told you that Dr. Pozzi was a character in "Remembrance of Things Past, and that he was also a great friend of the Proust family, and ALSO that Proust's brother Robert Proust was a partner in Pozzi's medical practice...but I may have written that to Adam or to Bill, now I can't remember!!  Talk about feast or famine!  I have gone from having NO ONE (except my darling husband who tries so hard to keep his eyes from glazing over as I natter on and on) to having the three of you.........it is absolute heaven.  Anyway, I was very disappointed to read about Pozzi in "Remembrance..." because the character is such a jerk.  As Proust is VERY well known for his dead-eye take on characters, I fear the worst about Sam...really obnoxious, made a lot of bad puns, was obseqeous (how the hell do you spell THAT word) . . . 

(Editor's Note: spell-check tells me it's "obsequious", but who cares, I'm too busy listening)

 . . .and his wife was a simpering idiot.  Now, I am laboring over translating the biography of Pozzi, and he doesn't sound that way at all....neither do his letters, so I'm wondering if it is just my reading of the character, or maybe the translation is not great.....I don't know.  I do know this...people adored him.  His friends were his friends for life, and they loved him.  His children loved him, although they were very distressed about his affairs and their affect on their mother.  I can't find out a damned thing about the funeral, except I saw a couple of newspaper clippings...in Le Figaro and the NY Times.  I did translate a few pages of the biog where he gets shot (because i wanted to see if the biographer told both of the stories about why he got shot, which he did)  Anyway, the biographer, (who is an Ob-Gyn named VanderPooten, in Cabourg) said that 25,000 people attended his funeral!  Now, Natasha, this is a LOT of people......clearly his friends would have been there, even if the War was still on, don't you agree?  I just do not understand why there is nothing about this anywhere!  I just read some letters of Proust's though to Madame Straus (she was probably a Pozzi lover, but she was also a cousin of his best friend R. de Montesquiou, and a friend of Marcel's.  anyway, he write to her that he knows how distraught she must be  as is every one...over the death of poor Pozzi, and that his brother is just destroyed, and that the murder may be seen to be symbolic of the War, which I have read many times........I actually think I read these letters on your website somewhere, but I 'm damned if I know where.....I think I printed it. 

(Editor's Note: no, they weren't here)

OK, I have got to fly...........hoping the weather is better for you.....we are having spring today, the sun is shining and all the snow is melting. 

From: Natasha


What a beautiful spirit! Don't you just want to hug Linda?

From:  Randall McLean 
mcl ea  nr andall@hotmail.com>
Date: Fri, 25 Jan 2002 

Dear Natasha, 

Do you know if Sargent ever visited Toledo during his Spanish tour?  I'm trying to locate evidence (letters, journal, sketches) that would indicate Sargent's familiarity with El Greco's Disrobing of Christ in the Toledo Cathedral.  I'm curious about the similarities between Christ's luminous red robe and sinceritas hand gesture in the El Greco image and the corresponding color and gesture in the painting of Doctor Pozzi at home.

El Greco 
(Greek/Spanish Mannerist Painter, 541-1614)

The Spoliation
(aka The Disrobing of Christ)
Sacristy of the Cathedral, Toledo
Oil on canvas
285 x 173 cm

From: Natasha
Date: again belated 31 Jan 2002

Yes, Sargent studied El Greco, but what dates and where? -- I'm looking.



From: Adam Sutcliffe 
Adam.  Sutc  liffe@five.tv
Date: Sat, 2 Feb 2002 

Randall McLean's thoughts about El Greco's "The Spoliation" are fascinating - the visual links are stunning. As a copyright lawyer - and looking at the two pictures together - my judgment would be that there are artistically too many links to be pure "coincidence". If Sargent never saw the original El Greco, then he may well have seen illustrations and or copies. I feel that no serious text discussing the antecedents to Dr Pozzi can now overlook The Spoliation. I was in Toledo Cathedral two years ago - but have to admit to a tendency to rush past El Grecos. His style is definitely not to my taste - but this painting is undeniably arresting and I now wish I had studied it closely. I have learnt a lesson - never write off El Greco!

Meanwhile in Florence (at the Uffizi) I came across the most brilliantly RED painting I have seen since Dr Pozzi - Bronzino's "Portrait of Lucrezia Panciatichi" - quite a tour de force for the depiction of scarlet fabric. 

All the best.


Agnolo Bronzino
Italian Mannerist painter (1503-1572)

Portrait of Lucrezia Panciatichi
c. 1540
Uffizi Gallery, Florence
Tempera on wood
102 x 85 cm

From: Natasha

Wow!  Clearly, Sargent would have almost an intimate understanding of the Uffizi Gallery by the time he painted Pozzi, as he had been in and around the city of Florence throughout his travels with his family from the time he was most little.

Date: 16 Dec 2003

Or how about: 

 Portrait of Pope Paul III
JS Sargent

Pope Paul III after Titian

From: John "Doe" (a friend of jss ) [1]
Date: 5/27/2004

I was just looking at the piece on Dr Pozzi. Usually don't have much to say but as you mentioned Whistler I wanted to add my 2 cents. I do agree with everything that was said but think that it should be noted that Sargent was a painters painter. Just as J. Page is a rock guitarists guitar player. There is nothing he can not do or will not attempt to do. I have always seen Sargent in the same vein. To paint is to constantly test your limits and constantly expand; to grow. Standing still makes you stagnant. Not only is Sargent learning from his contemporaries as you mentioned with Whistler but he is constantly testing his own limits and growing. Look at the work output after Monet. Not all Sargents are Sargent's just as Monet had his bad days or Whistler or any one else for that matter. So when I see a painting like Dr. Pozzi along with the artist representing the charter of the person being painted, I like to look at the technical side of the work. What areas are dry brush , fluid, stroke size. What was he concentrating on, the focus on the face the hands and so on. What did he borrow and from whom? Lastly I like to look at this type of work and really wonder if I could possibly carry off red on red on red on red. The marvel is that the painting works so well as does Whistlers harmonies in fact I believe that this would surpass the Whistlers greys. To me using this much red would be a truly great challenge. 

1) (Editor's Note - John "Doe" has been a very old friend of the JSS Gallery, but for personal reasons wishes to keep his identity private -- Observations like this I just HAVE to share)

From: Francesca Miller 
fra   ncesca. mi ller@comcast.net
Date: Sat, 5 Jun 2004

Since I live in Los Angeles a small group is planning a trek to the Hammer to gaze upon dear Sam Pozzi's beautiful face. I'd love to bring a wreath but I don't think the people at the museum would go for it. 

I have been an admirer of Mr. Sargent's works for a number of years but never really appreciated his genius until I first viewed his fabulous portrait of Dr. Pozzi's at Home several years ago; I fell in love with both Sam and Sargent.  Sorry that Sam has been so demonized by writers like Giola Diliberto and is only remembered as a womanizer (how he had time to romance many women when he was writing papers, practicing new surgical techniques, raising his family including his famous daughter Catherine, inventing new speculums and writing his own poetry I'll never know) but anyone taking the time to learn about his life would appreciate the work he did for women's health.  I plan to write about him in the future myself.  Please continue your great work, Natasha. 

7 June 2004 

I'm attaching a French bio with a picture of Sam as an older man in his 60's and a brief bio of his beautiful daughter, Catherine Pozzi, a poetess of great note in France.  Please note that he was still very handsome and elegant even into old age. 

I discovered your site because I was searching for info on Victorian gynecological practices and Sam's name was rather upset at some of the tacky comments made about the good doctors.  He worked on women's health when gynecology was derided in both England and America.  English gynecologists like the infamous Dr. Isaac Baker Brown routinely performed clitorectomies on women and that barbarous practice was eventually  brought to the US. The entire bloody mess is detailed in G. J. Barker-Benfield's "Horrors of the Half Known Life: Male Attitudes Toward Women and Sexuality in the 19th Century America."   Dr. Sam however, was ahead of his time.  He understood pelvic examinations could be hellacious and probably utilized cocaine (a legal drug used by dentists) to make his patients comfortable. He invented a speculum that was used world wide, wrote numerous papers on endometriosis, lectured and trained gynecologists. 

One of your readers questioned him using his bare hands during pelvics. What else would he have used, latex gloves were not in use in the 19th Century.  Like most doctors during the Victorian period he simply washed his hands between examines. I personally believe most his love affairs were the inventions of jealous colleagues, gossip that can't be proved. I found a lot of information on his professional life which I'll gladly send to you. I assure you, he didn't have time for womanizing. He remained an elegant figure until the day he died sporting white overalls and a jaunty Florentine cap when he made his rounds.  By the way, he was murdered by a  psychotic patient he had operated on two years prior.  The man brututally murdered dear Sam because he refused more surgery on him.  He died a horrible death on June 13th, 1918.  He's my hero, the man who truly loved women.

Wed, 9 Jun 2004 

Just wanted to send a lovely little bio about Sam [included above column right] and another, more complete biography about Catherine, his daughter.  They had a very strained relationship and she was much closer to her mother. 

By the way, Samuel Pozzi also translated one of Darwin's paper's into French. I'll send that link too.  I hope that Linda does eventually write a book about Sam, he's long overdue for a biography.


Special thanks to Adam Sutcliffe, Linda Hollander, Francesca Miller, and Alain Bugnicourt -- for their invaluable help and contributions, and for being  friends of the JSS Gallery


Darwin, "The expression of the emotions in man and animals." first published London, John Murray, 1872. Translated by Samuel Pozzi, [L']expression des émotions chez l'homme et les animaux; Paris, C. Reinwald, 1890. Link


John Singer Sargent, An Exhibition -- Whitney Museum, NY & The Art Institute of Chicago 1986-1987

Pozzi Bio

From: www.whonamedit.com

Samuel Jean de Pozzi was born to a family of Italian descent. He went to school in Pau and og Bordeaux and commenced the study of medicine in Paris in 1869. A brilliant student, he became one of Paul Broca's favourite pupils. Already as a student he was an assistant in anatomy, his first works concerning topics in anthropology and comparative anatomy.

Pozzi obtained his doctorate in 1873, and in 1875 became Agrégé with a thesis on hysterotomy in the treatment of uterine fibroma. In 1877 he became chirurgien des hôpitaux and in 1883 he was appointed surgeon at the Hôpital de Lourcine-Pascal, later to be renamed for Broca. Pozzi gave theoretical lectures at this hospital from 1884 until he was able to establish his own chair of gynaecology, which soon became the centre of a recognized school of gynaecology. 

Pozzi was a fine general surgeon but from the time of his appointment increasingly devoted himself to gynaecology. For this purpose he went on educational journeys to England, Germany, and Austria. He was one of the pioneers of this discipline in France. Apart from devising new technical approaches he wrote an important textbook on the subject, Clinical and Operative Gynaecology, which was translated into five foreign languages. In 1889 he was the first in France to perform a gastroenterostomy. 

Interested in antiquity, Pozzi was a collector of coins and statuettes, and president in 1888 of the Society of Anthropology. He was keenly interested in medical history and suggested that the last illness of Princess Henrietta, King Charles I’s daughter, was due to a ruptured extra-uterine pregnancy. He was a frequent traveller and was particularly impressed by Alexis Carrel’s work at the Rockefeller Institute on organ transplantation and tissue culture. 

He was elected member of the Académie de médecine in 1896, and in 1898 he was elected a senator from his native district.

Pozzi had a worldwide reputation as a teacher and he was a striking figure on rounds, dressed in white overalls and wearing a black Florentine cap. He was murdered in his consulting room by a patient whom he had operated on two years previously and on whom he had refused to operate again. The man shot him four times in the abdomen and although he was taken on his own demand to the Historia Hospital for laparotomy, 12 perforations of the abdomen and a laceration of the kidney were found and he died shortly afterwards. The murderer committed suicide immediately after.

With Jayle, Pozzi in 1897 founded the Revue de gynécologie et de chirurgie abdominale.


Étude sur les fistules de l’espace pelvi-rectal supérieur etc. Doctoral thesis, Paris, 1871.

De la valeur de l’hystérotomie dans le traitement des tumeurs fibreuses de l’utérus. 
Thèse d’agrégation, Paris, 1875.

Traité de gynécologie clinique et opératoire.
Paris, 1890; 2nd edition, 1891; 4th edition, 1905-1907. 
Translated into German, English, and Russian. 
This treatise won him the title of Laureate of the Institute. 

Associated eponyms:

Paget's disease of bone 
Medium common skeletal disease with chronic inflammation of bones, resulting in thickening and softening of bones, and bowing of long bones. 

Pozzi's syndrome 
Backache and leukorrhoea sometimes associated with endometriosis. 



Created 3/13/2001