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Title A Crowd Watching Charlatans on a Stage Outside an Inn
Alternative Title The Charlatan
Collection Wellcome Library
Artist Unknown
Previously attributed to Flemish School
Previously attributed to Spanish School
Date Earliest about 1630
Date Latest about 1660
Description In scenes from everyday life popular in seventeenth-century art, it was the profession of medicine and dentistry that was often lampooned. In these works, the doctor or the dentist was frequently depicted as a deceiving charlatan or quack, marketing his products with impressive but unsubstantiated claims about their effectiveness. Tooth pulling and medicine were both often fairground attractions as in this work which shows a crowd watching charlatans on a stage outside an inn and a dentist extracting a tooth. There is a frieze of medical scenes on the wall. This work is by an unknown seventeenth-century painter.
Current Accession Number 45030i
Former Accession Number P 66/1940
Inscription front ul 'AU MONDE RENVERSE'
Subject figure; townscape; everyday life; animal (dog; horse)
Measurements 77.2 x 62.9 cm cm (estimate)
Material oil on canvas
Acquisition Details Bequeathed by Henry Solomon Wellcome 1936.
Provenance Purchased by Dr C. J. Thompson at Knightsbridge, January 1908; in the collection of Henry Solomon Wellcome, January 1908.
Notes The stencil '667BB' which appears on the reverse could not be identified by Christie's. The accession card at the Wellcome Library records this work as being Spanish, about 1650. The work was previously attributed in the catalogue provided by W. Schupbach as Flemish School, about 1640;. A letter from the RKD, 21 July 1981, indicates that they believe that it might be Franco-Flemish and a copy after a print. Michael Sweerts was suggested as the artist by Dawson Carr at the National Gallery, London. Willem Reuter, a Flemish seventeenth-century artist is also thought to be possible. A painting by Matthijs Naiveu, about 1700 depicts similar carnival scenes in a square.
Rights Owner (c) The Wellcome Trust
Author Dr Madeleine Korn



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