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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.
A Doctor tending a Patient's Foot in his Surgery
Oil on oak
H 39 x W 61.1 cm
Salting Bequest, 1910