(b. ca. 1605, Oudenaerde, d. 1638, Antwerpen)
Oil on oak, 24 x 20 cm
Brouwer's preferred subjects were scenes of peasant life. He was especially interested in emotions and the facial expressions related to them. This scene of a village quack doctor operating on a patient offered him the opportunity to focus the message of the picture on the sensation of excruciating pain well-known to the beholder. There are no more than three people involved in the scene: the doctor, going about his task with a grim face, the patient, whose facial muscles are tightened into a grimace of pain, and a curious onlooker, who squeezes in between the two protagonists.