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The Quacksalver

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  • zerrin asked

    Dear Sir,

    is there any information about the poster (or printed paper) on the wall, just right of the painter.

    Is it the banner of the quacksalver or of the painter?

    Best regards.

  • Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen answered

    Dear Zerrin,
    The banner of the quacksalver can be observed on his desk, decorated with a large (probably inauthentic) red seal. The banner on the wall appears to be an advertisement for an upcoming fair.

  • Friederike Büchner asked

    Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
    does there exist a x-ray photograph of the picture? I have read that the Blauwpoort and the self-portait were added later.

    Thank you in advance.

    kind regards

    Friederike Büchner

  • Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen answered

    Dear Friederike,
    Unfortunately, the museum does not have an x-ray of the picture.
    Kind regards,


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More information

In this large panel Dou depicts a quack at the annual fair in front of Leiden's city gate. On the table is a monkey, which symbolises that the quack is 'making a monkey' of his audience. The painting is a warning against being fooled by charlatans. The artist can be seen leaning out of the window behind the quack.

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Collection book

Collection book Order


Title The Quacksalver
Material and technique Oil on panel
Object type
Painting > Painting > Two-dimensional object > Art object
Location This object is in storage
Dimensions Width Error: 83,4 is not a valid BCD value cm
Height Error: 112,4 is not a valid BCD value cm
Artists Painter: Gerard Dou
Accession number St 4
Credits Loan Stichting Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, 1939
Department Old Masters
Acquisition date 1939
Creation date in 1652
Collector Collector / Willem van der Vorm
Internal exhibitions The Collection Enriched (2011)
De collectie als tijdmachine (2017)
Lievelingen (2024)
External exhibitions De kunst van het lachen - Humor in de Gouden Eeuw (2017)
Research Show research Alma
Geographical origin Northern Netherlands > The Netherlands > Western Europe > Europe

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All about the artist

Gerard Dou

Leiden 1613 - Leiden 1675

Gerard Dou studied with Rembrandt between 1628 and 1631/2. When Rembrandt left Leiden in 1631/32, Dou stayed behind and continued to live and work there. He...

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