Le Malade imaginaire (The Hypochondriac)
Honoré Victorin Daumier (1808-1879)
Black chalks, black ink wash, watercolour and touches of bodycolour with pen and point of the brush in brown and black-grey ink on laid paper
Height: 20.7 cm; Width: 27.1 cm;
Inscription, inscribed, signed by the artist in pen and brown ink, recto,
Courtauld, Samuel; gift; 1934
About this work
Known for his acerbic caricatures, Honoré Daumier here interprets a scene from the comedy Le malade imaginaire (The Hypochondriac) by the French playwright Molière. A patient is visited by a doctor, who lectures self-importantly at the bedside. Terrified, the miserable man focuses his attention on the doctor’s assistant who holds an exaggeratedly large clyster, used to administer an enema. By framing the staged scene with a monumental curtain and spotlighting key elements, Daumier emphasizes the comical aspect of the drama.
(Permanent collection label)
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Copyright: © The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London