Theodor de Bry: The fools doctor (1596)


(Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

An engraving by the Flemish artist Theodor de Bry (1528-1598). This engraving is part of a set called " Emblemata Saecularia", an emblem book with about 74 engravings. This weird engraving shows the treatment room of ' doctor Dr. Filzhut'. The man on the left has a tap on his belly for letting blood. The man on the right is sitting in a wooden tub and has a retort on his head. Above his head all kind of delusions such as money, war, fake love etc are pouring into the kettle and are distilled as tiny mice (this is a reference to the dutch word of 'muizenissen' or 'small mice', meaning small worries). the text at the bottom reads ‘ARTE MEA CEREBRUM NISI SIT SAPIENTIATOTUM’ or 'by my art everyone's brain becomes wisdom'. engraving from 1596.

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