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A surgeon operates on the eye of an immoral old man, while the efforts of Time and Minerva to cure his inner corruption are rebuffed. Line engraving after O. van Veen, 16--.

  • Veen, Otto van, 1556-1629.
Date
1672
Reference
16545i
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view A surgeon operates on the eye of an immoral old man, while the efforts of Time and Minerva to cure his inner corruption are rebuffed. Line engraving after O. van Veen, 16--.

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Credit: A surgeon operates on the eye of an immoral old man, while the efforts of Time and Minerva to cure his inner corruption are rebuffed. Line engraving after O. van Veen, 16--. Wellcome Collection. Public Domain Mark

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About this work

Description

The engraving illustrates a couplet by Horace (Epistles I.2): "Quae laedunt oculos festinas demere: si quid / Est animum, differs tempus curandi in annum" (Those things which harm the eyes you hasten to eliminate. As for those which harm the soul, you postpone the time of cure from year to year).

Publication/Creation

[Brussels] : [F. Foppens], 1672.

Physical description

1 print : line engraving ; platemark 18 x 14.5 cm

Lettering

La guérison de l'amê est la plus nécessaire.

Lettering note

The commentary by Marin Le Roy, sieur de Gomberville, may be translated as follows: We see first a wretched man, one of those whom the world calls happy, whose soul is eaten with ulcers, his heart gnawed by all the worms which his crimes form there, and his spirit attacked by all the most uncontrolled passions, but nevertheless refuses the pleasant and unfailing remedies which Time and Wisdom offer to him. He shamelessly brushes off the generosity by which they have deigned to anticipate his prayers, and dismisses them with this arrogant compliment: that if he ever needs their assistance, he will not fail to have them summoned. However, for a slight inflammation which he has in is eye, he calls out impatiently for the help of all the oculists. This little inflammation deprives him of rest, and causing him to forget the great number of possessions that he has acquired for himself by an even greater number of crimes, persuades him that all his happiness is bound up in the cure of his illness. The surgeon also works with all the industry of which he is capable, and promises the willing blind man that he will soon mitigate his pain. In truth the outer eye can be cured, but the more precious vision will not be. It is from an art much more subtle, amd nore divine, than surgery, that we must expect the cure of these delicate senses through which man is truly human.

Reference

Wellcome Library no. 16545i

Languages

  • French


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