Medical alchemist, 17th-18th century

Medical alchemist, 17th-18th century

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Credit: WILL BROWN/CHEMICAL HERITAGE FOUNDATION/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Restrictions: This image may not be used to state or imply the endorsement by the Science History Institute of any product, service or activity, or to concur with an opinion or confirm the accuracy of any text appearing alongside or in logical association with the image.

Caption: Medical alchemist. 17th-18th century artwork showing an alchemist having a chamber pot emptied on him during a urine analysis for a female patient. At far left are a human skull and a celestial globe. The cello (lower left) was a symbol of love and sexual promiscuity. A Dutch translation of a poem by the Ancient Greek philosopher Socrates (in Dutch on table) compares the woman in the window to Xanthippe, the wife of Socrates. It reads: 'I knew well woman, it's no wonder, it would rain, after this thunder'. This artwork, titled 'Trouble Comes to the Alchemist', is an oil-on-canvas work, mounted on board, from the Dutch School.

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