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A physician in his study writing a prescription for his waiting patient. Oil painting by Pieter Jakob Horemans, 1745.

  • Horemans, Pieter Jakob, 1700-1776.
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About this work


The physician sits at a table, left. With his left hand he holds an octavo book open on the table, while with a quill pen in his right hand he writes on a sheet of paper, using the book for reference. Other octavo books are standing on the table. Behind him stands a man holding his tricorn hat under his arm and extending his hand to receive the paper from the physician: he may be the patient, or a messenger for the patient or for the physician, waiting for the physician to write out a prescription. Against the back wall, a cabinet, of which one bay contains a library of substantial volumes and the adjacent bay contains materia medica in the form of powders and liquids in glass vessels

The physician may be a member of the court at Munich of the Elector Karl Albrecht of Bavaria, as Horemans was one of the court portraitists: see Johann Georg Prinz von Hohenzollern, Pieter Jakob Horemans (1700-1776), kurbayerischer Hofmaler, exhibition catalogue, Munich: Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, 1974. If so, he may be identified in the Chur-bayrisches Hof-Calender or the Churbaierisches Hof- und Staats-Calender (Munich 1738 ff.) which is mentioned by Peter Claus Hartmann, Karl Albrecht - Karl VII, Regensburg 1985, pp. 81, 338 (to be investigated)


[Munich], 1745.

Physical description

1 painting : oil on canvas ; canvas 53.2 x 42.5 cm


Ars longa vita brevis. Hip.s.i. aph.s ... Horemans 1745 G.M.D. Aet. 32

References note

W. Schupbach, 'Caution! Doctors at work', Friends of the Wellcome Institute Newsletter, Spring 2000, pp. 3-5


Wellcome Library no. 43703i


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