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17th Century European Art

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The Doctor's Visit

ca. 1660
17 x 14 1/4 in. (43.2 x 36.2 cm)

Hendrick Heerschop
Netherlands (1620 - 1672)

Object Type: Painting
Medium and Support: Oil on panel
Credit Line: Marion Stratton Gould Fund
Accession Number: 1946.35
Location: Currently on view
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In this picture, a doctor dramatically examines a flask of urine as he takes his patient’s pulse. The setting is the young woman’s bedchamber; she droops with exhaustion as the physician seeks a diagnosis. A second woman, her hand placed jauntily on her hip, leans between them.

The role of the characters in this painting would have been easily understood in the prosperous world of 17th -century Holland. The satirical subject of the quack doctor (suggested here by his dramatic posturing and costume) who claimed he could identify all sorts of illnesses by looking at a patient’s urine was a favorite theme in both theater and painting. There are also moral overtones in the portrayal of the patient and the demeanor of her companion—scenes of fainting women usually referred to lovesickness, erotic melancholy or pregnancy.

[Gallery label text, 2005]

[?Samuel Linn? (1843-1916), Rochester; to his wife at his death?;] Edith Willis Linn Forbes (1865-1945), Rochester and Glenora; to her grandson Willis Linn (1913-1994), Elmira NY, at her death; his sale, Convention Hall, Rochester, December 3-9, 1945; purchased at that sale by Richard Blanc, Rochester and Norman Okla.; sold by him to the Gallery in 1946

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