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Title An Italian Market-place with a Tooth-drawer on Horseback
Alternative Title A Travelling Dentist
Collection Wellcome Library
Artist Attributed to Mommers, Hendrik (Dutch painter, 1623-1697)
Previously attributed to Lingelbach, Johannes (German painter, baptized 1622, died 1674, active in the Netherlands and Italy)
Previously attributed to Schranz, Josef (German artist, active 1761-1797)
Date Earliest about 1660
Date Latest about 1750
Description In scenes from everyday life popular in seventeenth-century Dutch and Flemish art, the profession of medicine and dentistry were often lampooned. Dentists, like doctors, were often seen as quacks and tooth pulling was often a fairground attraction. In these, the quack is often depicted as a deceiving charlatan, marketing his products with impressive but unsubstantiated claims about their effectiveness. This painting is of an Italian market-place with a tooth-drawer on horseback. The use of light and shade and Italianate buildings are typical of the work of a group of Italian and Northern artists known as the Bamboccianti, and include Michelangelo Cerquozzi, Johannes Lingelbach and Hendrik Mommers. This painting has been re-attributed recently to the artist Hendrick Mommers but an earlier attribution to Johannes Lingelbach is possibly still correct.
Current Accession Number 44619i
Former Accession Number CC 2412; P 213/1947
Subject animal (horse; dog); figure; townscape; still life; everyday life
Measurements 46.3 x 59.4 cm cm (estimate)
Material oil on canvas
Acquisition Details Bequeathed by Henry Solomon Wellcome 1936.
Provenance Collection of H. Maitland, 43 Upper George St., Bryanston Square, W1 by 1925; sale, Christie, Manson & Woods, London, 17 July 1925, lot 89, 21, A Travelling Dentist, as by 'J. Lingelbach'; collection of Henry Solomon Wellcome, 17 July 1925.
Publications Kren, T., 'Jan Lingelbach in Rome', J.Paul Getty Museum Journal, 1982, vol. 10, pp. 45 - 61; I Bamboccianti, Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, Cologne, 1991, cat. no. 21.1, pp. 212-4, ill. p. 213.
Notes On the reverse is a stencil from Christies 54EC or 54 BC. Also the name Macroy appears on a label. Mommers was a pupil of Nicolaes Berchem but this work does not have any of the warm Italianate qualities found in Berchem's work and is much closer to Lingelbach's work. This was true also of works found in the Witt. A painting of almost identical composition and style was offered for sale at Phillips auction house, Bayswater, London, 7 July 1998, lot 11, 50.5 x 67 cm., attributed to 'circle of Hendrick Mommers' but this may also be a wrong attribution by the auction house. The former attribution of Johannes Lingelbach which appeared in the sale catalogue when Wellcome purchased the work was later changed to Mommers on the strength of the work at Phillips. Phillips, however, may not have had the right attribution for the work in 1998 as it was not signed either. Lingelbach is known to have painted other similar capriccio views of Italy. A work by Lingelbach Italienische Marktszene mit Zahnarzt (1651, Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum) is very close to this work in the handling of the brushstrokes, colour and tone, and the stylisation of the figures.
Rights Owner (c) The Wellcome Trust
Author Dr Madeleine Korn

 

 

 

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