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Theodore de Mayerne (1573–1655) was a successful and famous physician, serving in the royal courts of Europe. He is remembered most for advocating the use of chemical remedies in medical practice. He had a colourful personality and, despite living in England for 44 years, refused to own land and only spoke the language if necessary, staying true to his French-Swiss heritage. In his last years he became immobile through obesity, but was unconcerned, maintaining that ‘an evil soul never dwells in a fat body’. He was said to have died after drinking bad wine at a tavern in the Strand, London.
oil on canvas
H 127 x W 90.1 cm
gift from Sir Theodore Colladon, 1689