Artists were interested in the anatomy of the kidneys well before physicians understood the pathophysiology of any of these conditions.
Kidneys, ureters, and bladder (ca. 1780), wax model from La Specola
This is another of the fine wax models now on display at the Specola museum just outside of Florence, Italy
Traité complet d'anatomie de l'homme (1866-1871), 2nd ed. by Bourgery, Bernard, and Jacob
anatomy of the urologic organs
portrait of Dr. Richard Bright
The first to recognize the association between “dropsy” (fluid retention), albuminuria, elevated urea, and pathologic changes in the kidney was a British physician at Guy’s Hospital, Richard Bright (1789-1858), after whom “Bright’s Disease” was named.
Reports of Medical Cases (1827) by Richard Bright, MD
This is a hand-colored plate of the pathologic specimen of John King, the first case illustrated in Dr. Bright's landmark book.