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The Wellcome Library contains many pictures by amateur, naive and popular artists. Such works often preserve themes that are rarely or never depicted in the elite works of art that are found in art galleries. This is one example: it is one of a pair of French pictures that Henry S. Wellcome acquired in Pau, French Pyrenees. They are thought to date from around 1700. In this one, an apothecary gives a clyster (enema) to a woman who bends over a bed: he injects water or a medication into her rectum to clean her intestines, a process later called colonic lavage.
oil on canvas
90 x 48.5 cm
purchased by Henry S. Wellcome, c.1900–1936
183 Euston Road, London, Greater London NW1 2BE EnglandView venue
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