"Maistre Robert", a blind healer healing by laying-on of hands. Oil painting.

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About this work


The painting shows a blind man with a shell on his hat indicating (or purporting to indicate) that he is a pilgrim to the shrine of Saint James of Compostella. He is holding the left wrist of a young woman, to heal by touch. A woman in the centre is holding a glass bottle which is probably a urine flask. An inscription in French on the painting says that the healer's name is 'Master Robert', that he is a seventh son, and that he therefore has a natural gift of healing various illnesses by laying on of hands

Physical description

1 painting : oil on wood ; wood 77.2 x 62.9 cm


Maistre Robert R. docteur en la medecine ceremoneale. ... Three books on a shelf, above right, have fore-edges inscribed: two are "Guidon des sages fames" and "La metode de manier. Par M. R. Ric". Other lettering on a broadsheet on the wall, upper left, including many indistinct passages, probably misrepresented in the following draft transcript: Maistre Robert R. docteur en la medecine ceremoneale. Donc nature luy en a donné l'intelligence en sa naissance pour estre le VII qui lui a donné l[...] [...]ette de la main aquelle [il?] touche les Ecroyles, garit les Carreaus de la Mere releve aus[si] l'epigastre, soufle feu sauvage, garit des vers brusle les engelures et farcinire les corps et ognons plus un Remède assure centre et [...] coulleurs et ne sert des droges d'orient farci aulx cimples dinans tous le purge graine.


Wellcome Collection 46026i

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