The Collegium Medicum —
as bearers of hope in recession
Hogarth, William (1697 London 1764). Consultation of Physicians (Arms of the Undertakers). The Collegium Medicum or the coat of arms of the undertakers. Engraving by Thomas Cook (c. 1744 – London 1818). Inscribed: Hogarth pinxt. / T. Cook sculpt. / Published by Longman, Hurst, Rees, & Orme, Jany. 1st. 1809. Subject size 6¾ × 5⅝ in (17.1 × 14.2 cm).
Cook’s smaller version without the 6-lined caption of this brilliant guild arms with the device Et plurima mortis imago. Representing the last hope of the undertakers in bad times – the physicians. – Trimmed within the wide platemark and especially in its upper margin somewhat time-spotted.
“ The consultation – Lichtenberg annotates – concerns the quality of the urine of a patient who must be rich enough to pay any of the physicians convened here the price of one guinea usual in England for a consultation. Therefore the extraordinary solemnity of the deliberation. While some inspect the content of the vessel with their spectacles one even owns the self-sacrifice to examine it with the tongue. The finger is in the liquid for the second time and the doctor checks the first test with a face that would be a complete credit to a gourmand … All (15) heads were portraits from Hogarth’s time. ”
Interesting also in regard of the splendid periwigs .
On this Lichtenberg says i. a.:
“ … intimate an outstanding rank or an excellent personality, here are represented by enormous periwigs … which bestow an extraordinary solemn outward appearance … Especially one is … noticeable among the heads, with a periwig which resembles a weeping willow. ”
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