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The healer is a charlatan

Painting, 1652, 112×83 cm

Description of the artwork «The healer is a charlatan»

"Doctor quack" in all senses exclusive for art of Gerrit Dou. First of all, it is the largest panel and it is written in Spanish cedar, not regular for the wizard oak. Furthermore, the composition includes a significantly larger number of shapes than any other work of the artist. The characters demonstrate an unprecedented diversity of ages, types and classes.

Doctor-blew advertises its drug small crowd on the outskirts of Leiden. From doctors in other pictures it DOE suit features round neck, cut sleeves and wide beret. Among the spectators we see an elderly woman on the right in whose pocket got thief; the student, putting his hand on the table and turned to the old woman; a woman of pancakes, which wipes the buttocks of the child while listening to the impatient girl; the hunter with the dead rabbit hanging from the barrel of the rifle; three young people standing between a hunter and a table (one of the girls listens carefully to the rogue and gives him a coin, while satellites are more interested in her cleavage); and farmer with a pipe and a cart of vegetables. The characters in the movie are on the step lower in the social hierarchy than the painter and his patrons. The passion of audience chatter cheater at the same time fun (voluptuous man in the background is the fact that his companion was distracted) and a concern (hustler's rip sweet old woman, and the student clearly skipped school). The boy on the left, luring the bird imitates the actions of a charlatan. He and the dog in the foreground show no interest in the main personage.

In the arched window sits the artist with palette and brushes, similar to the DOE. By including himself among the characters, he looks directly at the audience, forcing them to identify themselves with the crowd around nadowli.

The building in the background is Beauport, "Blue gate" – the former city gate of Leiden. They took the form depicted on the panel, only in 1667, 15 years after Dow created the picture. So master, of course, rewrote them to give the tower a more modern look. However, there is no reason to doubt that the composition as a whole dates back to the year 1652.

Confident, carefully drawn shapes, contrast of light and shade, and shared the ambition of the scenes represent a Mature style DOE. The use of bright colors typical of his work of the late 1640's and early 1650-ies. Eye-catching brushstrokes of white and accented by the negligence of equipment to attract attention to the costume of a charlatan, and, consequently, to himself. As meticulously depicted texture – in particular, fur monkeys, dogs and a hare, testify to the virtuosity of the artist.

DOE tried to clearly identify the time and place of the event. On the paper attached to the brick wall in the foreground, is the word kermis, fair. Above it hangs a circle, in which you can understand that this building is an Inn. Beauport represents the border of Leiden, and in the background can be seen the spire of the Church and the town mill. By including such easily recognizable landmarks, the author reinforces the impression that this genre scene is happening "here and now" in everyday life. However, as noted by Dutch photographer eddy De Jong, a deliberate combination of so many different human types has already questioned the realism of the image.

Many researchers believe that the DOE tried to hold the picture a symbolic comparison of the charlatan with the artist. But generally, different interpretations of this work differ, for the most part, only to those where the emphasis is.

Author: Vlad Maslov
from 1450 rub
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About the artwork

Art form: Painting

Subject and objects: Genre scene

Style of art: Baroque, The Golden age of Holland

Technique: Oil

Materials: Wood

Date of creation: 1652

Size: 112×83 cm

Artwork in selections: 8 selections

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