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  • Charlatan

    Artist:
    Miel, Jan. 1599 (?)-1664
    Technique:
    oil
    Dimensions:
    60x74 cm

Miel, Jan. 1599 (?)-1664

Charlatan

Flanders, Circa 1650

The prominent Flemish genre-painter Jan Miel lived and worked for a long time in Italy. This work dates from the Roman period of his career. In all the Hermitage catalogues the painting had the title A Charlatan and was interpreted as a depiction of an itinerant medicine man and his assistants, demonstrating some potion to a credulous crowd. The high platform, upon which the main personages are placed, carries a sign reading VERO SECRET CONT... (A true cure for...) The theme of charlatanism is quite common in seventeenth-century painting (in works by Adriaen Brouwer, Jan Steen and Karel Dujardin, for example). The main personage in the Hermitage painting is shown in the mask and costume of the Dottore from the commedia dell'arte, the figure with the guitar in the costume of a zanni (madcap servant). Such stock characters from the commedia dell'arte can also be found in other works by Jan Miel, including Carnival in Rome (Prado, Madrid) and The Actors' Rehearsal (Zingone collection, Rome).

School:

Title:

Charlatan

Place:

Date:

Material:

Technique:

oil

Dimensions:

60x74 cm

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage in 1802; acquired from the collection of Count de Narp

Inventory Number:

ГЭ-646

Category:

Collection: