Eddie Pensier writes:
John Singer Sargent, Dr. Pozzi at Home, 1881
Sargent’s adoring portrait of the infamous Dr. Samuel Jean de Pozzi (3 October 1846 – 13 June 1918), pioneering gynecologist, lover of Sarah Bernhardt (and it is rumored, of Sargent himself), defender of Alfred Dreyfus, friend of Marcel Proust, insatiable sexual explorer, and victim of one of the more flamboyant deaths of the early 20th century:
On June 13, 1918, Maurice Machu, former patient from two years before, approached Pozzi in his consulting room. Pozzi had had to amputate his leg and he had become impotent. Machu asked him to operate again. When Pozzi refused because he could not remedy the situation, Machu shot him four times in the stomach. Pozzi ordered himself to be taken to the Historia Hospital but the emergency laparotomy was unsuccessful. He asked to be buried in his military uniform and died shortly afterwards. Machu committed suicide later.