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The Surgeon

David Teniers the Younger1670s

Chrysler Museum of Art

Chrysler Museum of Art

Is there a doctor in the house? Not in this one. The medic in this picture is a lowly barber surgeon, a quack who preyed on the ignorant and poor. Surrounded by his potions and aided by two dimwitted assistants, he operates on a patient’s back, ignoring his painful yelp. The monkey crouching nearby is an age-old symbol of foolishness. He “apes” the patient’s pose, suggesting that the man is chained to the ignorant belief that the barber surgeon will cure him.

71.480

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Details

  • Title: The Surgeon
  • Creator: David Teniers the Younger
  • Date Created: 1670s
  • Physical Dimensions: 22 1/2 x 29 in. (57.2 x 73.7 cm)
  • Credit Line: Gift of Walter P. Chrysler, Jr.
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil on canvas

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