Le Malade Imaginaire (The Hypochondriac)
Known for his acerbic caricatures, Honoré Daumier here loosely interprets a scene from the satirical play Le malade imaginaire (The Hypochondriac, 1673) by the French playwright Molière. Argan, the patient, is visited by Doctor Purgon, who lectures self-importantly at the bedside. Terrified, the miserable man, wearing a comical nightcap tightened by a blue ribbon, 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.
See more collection highlights
Explore The Courtauld’s remarkable collection of paintings, prints and drawings, sculpture and decorative arts.Explore