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Interior with a physician examining a urine flask. Oil painting attributed to Gerard Thomas or Balthasar van den Bossche.

Thomas, Gérard, 1663-1720.

About this work


In the centre of the picture a physician or natural philosopher holds up a flask of urine which the woman standing nearby has brought to him in the wicker basket which she holds on her arm. In traditional western medicine, examination of urine was the commonest method of diagnosis. The painters Gerard Thomas (1663-1720) and Balthasar van den Bossche (1681-1715) continued at Antwerp the tradition popularised by David Teniers the younger (1610-1690), of showing chemists, apothecaries and physicians in the setting of a room designed as the museum or laboratory of a scholar. His paintings often include folio-size books of the works of Galen or (less frequently) Hippocrates. No such books appear to have been printed in the southern Netherlands in the seventeenth century, though some were printed at Lyons. At the time when Gerard Thomas was working, they would have been very old-fashioned. The fact that they appear in these paintings presumably means that they were still respected by the public



Physical description

1 painting : oil on canvas ; canvas 86 x 120.5 cm



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