A surgeon in his workroom extracing stones from a man's head; symbolising the expulsion of 'folly' (insanity). Gouache painting by Ginsle (?), 1806, after G. Dou.
- Dou, Gerard, 1613-1675.
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Pictures of a surgeon making an incision in a patient's head in order to extract 'stones' (implying madness in the individual) do not represent an actual operation, but are allegorical scenes refering to the subduction of 'folly' (madness) from the body. See further: W. Schupbach, 'A new look at The cure of folly', Medical history, 1978, vol. 22, pp. 267-281
1 painting : gouache on ivory (?)
Ginsle [?] pinx 1806.
C. Hofstede de Groot, A catalogue raisonné of the works of the most eminent Dutch painters of the seventeenth century, vol. 1, London 1908, Gerard Dou no. 149, p. 395 (on panel 11½ x 9½ ins., "in the collection of W. Ritter, Val de Ruz, near Neufchâtel")
Wellcome Library no. 21129i
After: a painting by Gerrit Dou, formerly in the possession of Wilhelm Ritter (1847-1906), Val de Ruz, near Neuchâtel (Hofstede de Groot, loc. cit.)