Portrait of a Surgeon

Netherlandish Painter Netherlandish

Not on view

A surgeon is represented here with the attributes of his trade: a skull and a metal instrument that resembles the tool used to cauterize skulls. From his belt hang several keys and a saw. The man’s features—a firm jaw, lines around the eyes, and large, powerful hands—attest to the rigors of his profession, in contrast to the courtly refinement of portraits by Corneille de Lyon. The cryptic inscription on the left reads, "seit om of swijcht" (be cautious or keep silent).

Portrait of a Surgeon, Netherlandish Painter (dated 1569), Oil on wood

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