This etching reproduces in reverse a painting in the Hermitage Museum which has been attributed to Gerrit Dou. Through an illusionistic stone archway draped with an embroidered curtain, we see a finely-dressed physician examining a flask of urine in the light of an open window. Wearing a velvet beret and a robe tied with a tasselled cord, the physician gestures dramatically as he performs his examination. Beside him, an older woman stands patiently with her basket, hands clasped. The doctor's paraphernalia surrounds them: a globe, books, flasks, and a human skull arranged on the tabletop speak both to professional habits and symbolic reminders of morality and mortality. Above the central pair, a plaster cupid hangs suspended from the ceiling—likely an indication that the physician's diagnosis will be "lovesickness," a condition once believed to affect women both emotionally and physiologically.
|Rights||Public Domain Mark 1.0|
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