The Sick Woman, Jan Havicksz. Steen, c. 1663 - c. 1666

The Sick Woman, Jan Havicksz. Steen, c. 1663 - c. 1666

oil on canvas, h 76cm × w 63.5cm. More details

Faint from fever, the young woman rests her head on a pillow. Is she perhaps lovesick? Is she pregnant? To find out, a quack would put a strip of his patient’s clothing in a brazier to smoulder – the scent would disclose her secret. Jan Steen here presents such a charlatan making a diagnosis. His old-fashioned attire characterizes him as a comic character.

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