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A drunken Bacchus cavorts atop the globe, accompanied by Fortune; to his right physicians and quacks fight for legitimacy; to his left the scales held by a blindfold Justice are tipped by a lawyer's money: an allegory of the world of justice and health overturned into one of chance and greed. Coloured etching by Daniël Veelwaard I after J. Smies, 1809.

  • Smies, Jacob, 1764-1833.
Date
1809
Reference
17675i
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view A drunken Bacchus cavorts atop the globe, accompanied by Fortune; to his right physicians and quacks fight for legitimacy; to his left the scales held by a blindfold Justice are tipped by a lawyer's money: an allegory of the world of justice and health overturned into one of chance and greed. Coloured etching by Daniël Veelwaard I after J. Smies, 1809.

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Credit: A drunken Bacchus cavorts atop the globe, accompanied by Fortune; to his right physicians and quacks fight for legitimacy; to his left the scales held by a blindfold Justice are tipped by a lawyer's money: an allegory of the world of justice and health overturned into one of chance and greed. Coloured etching by Daniël Veelwaard I after J. Smies, 1809. Wellcome Collection. Public Domain Mark

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About this work

Description

From the cornucopia next to Bacchus tumbles a mixture of money, games (including playing cards, dice and a chessboard), medicine bottles, cups and ladles. To the right, Hygieia, daughter of Asklepios, holds the latter's attributes: a cock, and a snake coiled around a staff. A larger cock strays around the bottom of the globe. To Hygieia's top-right, two commedia dell'arte figures play the parts of the quack and the doctor. Below them are four men, three in black raising their hats, one in blue tending to a stove upon which he is cooking a mixture. In front of them lie a clyster, a medicine bottle and a pestle and mortar. To the left of the globe, Justice can be seen holding her sword, the Book of the Last Judgment and her scales, which are being tipped by the corrupt lawyer's money. The globe is overrun by greed and games of chance. There is a statue of Justinian wearing a judge's hat; below it, a lawyer is asking a helpless man for money. In the foreground, a fool tries to bend a crooked stick into a straight one

Publication/Creation

1809

Physical description

1 print : etching, with watercolour ; border 9.1 x 15 cm

Lettering note

Of the four moneybags falling from the sack, two each display the numerals 275 and 600 respectively. There is also a medicine bottle labelled 'KG'. At the extreme left of the picture, under a large bust is the name 'Justiniaan' and at the extreme right above a shop, is the legend 'Apothek...'

Reference

Wellcome Library no. 17675i

Type/Technique



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