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The girl in this painting is not ill but lovesick. To underline the point, there is a picture of 'Venus and Adonis' on the wall and the boy in the fore ground is Cupid in seventeenth-century costume, putting an arrow in his bow. The doctor takes the woman’s pulse and looks knowingly at the maid, who is holding a urine bottle. Erotic melancholy was allegedly detected by feeling the pulse, whilst visual examination of the urine was claimed to reveal the same disorder, or pregnancy.
oil on oak panel
H 49 x W 42 cm
management transferred from the Victoria and Albert Museum to English Heritage, 2004