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A grotesque accouchement. Oil painting.

[between 1600 and 1699]
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Credit: A grotesque accouchement. Oil painting. Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)

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About this work


Four grotesque dwarfish figures: a hunchbacked man and an old midwife help a woman give birth, producing eggs, while on the left a woman boils a donkey in a cauldron to produce gruel for the mother. In the foreground, babies break out of the eggs: possibly a parody of Leonardo da Vinci's painting of Leda and the swan


[between 1600 and 1699]

Physical description

1 painting : oil on canvas ; canvas 64 x 76 cm

Creator/production credits

Pictures of crowds of tiny dwarfs are often attributed to Faustino Bocchi or to the anonymous Maestro della Fertilità dell'Uovo. The present picture, however, is in a very different style, showing the dwarfs much larger by comparison with the size of the painting than is usual in paintings firmly attributed to Bocchi. An alternative attribution to Pietro Della Vecchia has been suggested


Wellcome Library no. 44686i

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