Jan Steen (Dutch, 16261679)
Oil on canvas; 34 x 39 in. (86.4 x 99.1 cm)
Bequest of Helen Swift Neilson, 1945 (46.13.2)
Doctors were familiar targets of parody in Steen's native Leiden, the home of a famous medical school. Borrowing from the comic stage, Steen identifies the old man as a quack by his peculiar clothing, while the nature of the young lady's malady is suggested by the cupid over the door, and other intimations like the open bed. The picture dates about 1660.