Dutch, b.1613, d.1675
Gerrit Dou’s prosperous-looking physician examines what is thought to be a urine sample, apparently testing for pregnancy. The motif of a physician examining the contents of a flask often appears in Dutch genre painting of the 17th century. ‘Genre’ painting is where people and everyday activities are shown in a natural setting.
Dou was a founder member of the Leiden School of fijnschilders (fine painters) whose work was finely detailed and precisely painted. Dou’s skills in engraving and glass painting are reflected in the minute scale and high level of detail in his paintings.
Dou was born in Leiden. Following his apprenticeships, he entered the studio of Rembrandt van Ryn (1606 -1669) in 1628 but his style developed in a different way. In 1631, when Rembrandt moved to Amsterdam, Dou set up his own studio in Leiden. He concentrated on portraits, genre and still life subjects and by 1660 was held in high regard throughout Europe, having become very wealthy through sales of his art.
There is an audio tour available about this work.
Heathcote Helmore Bequest, 1965
Oil on copper
aegicranes, animals, arches, bleeding bowls, books, bottles, carpets, examining, genre, globes (cartographic spheres), goats, memento mori, mirrors, People, physicians, pregnancy, putti, reliefs (sculptures), skeletons, urine, Vanitas, windows
View other works by Gerrit Dou This work featured in the set Angels & Aristocrats on My Gallery.