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Imitator of David Teniers the Younger, A Doctor tending a Patient's Foot in his Surgery

Key facts
Full title A Doctor tending a Patient's Foot in his Surgery
Artist Imitator of David Teniers the Younger
Artist dates 1610 - 1690
Date made 17th century
Medium and support Oil on oak
Dimensions 39 × 61.1 cm
Acquisition credit Salting Bequest, 1910
Inventory number NG2599
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
A Doctor tending a Patient's Foot in his Surgery
Imitator of David Teniers the Younger

An assistant prepares a plaster at the table while the doctor treats a patient’s foot. This composition is derived from works by Adriaen Brouwer, who had a profound influence on Teniers. Teniers made several variations on the theme, which were often imitated by his contemporaries and later artists. There was a tradition in Flemish painting of ridiculing quack doctors and their practices, and this may be the case here. It is possible, for example, that the open-mouthed fish hanging from the ceiling suggests gullibility.

Although the composition is strongly reminiscent of Teniers’s work and it is signed (bottom left), it is too poorly executed to be by him. The signature is probably false, and the painting made by an imitator after Teniers’s death. Other imitations of the same composition survive (in the Wellcome Collection, London, for example), and they may have all been copying an original work by Teniers, since lost.

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