Unknown (Dutch, active 16th century) after Hendrick Goltzius (Dutch, 1558-1617)

The Medical Profession, Plates 1 - 4

Reference Type:
Medical Profession, Plate 3.jpg
Medical Profession, Plate 4.jpg
Plate 1: In the Beginning When the Physician is Needed, He is Considered the Equal of God the Saviour Plate 2: During the Course of the Illness, the Physician is Still Considered an Angel Descended from Heaven Plate 3: But If the Patient Begins to Convalesce, the Physician is Merely an Ordinary Man Plate 4: And this Same Physician Who Was Once Called God is Considered a Demon When He Has Cured His Patient and Asks for Payment The titles of these scenes are fairly self-explanatory. The backgrounds of the images tell the story of the patient’s injury—a broken leg—and the path to his recovery. In the first scene, the physician as God reads signs in the patient’s urine. In the second, he administers medicine. In the third scene, as the patient recovers and decides he will live, the doctor—with his books and instruments—looks like a mere man. And finally, when recovery is complete and the bill is received, the doctor is considered a devil. Notes by Mariann Smith. Image credit for Plates 3 and Plate 4: © Trustees of the British Museum
Art of Medicine
Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL