Aegros Curare by Sébastien Bourdon
Aegros Curare by Sébastien Bourdon

Aegros Curare

Aegros Curare (Series Title – Seven Acts of Mercy) c1665-70 by French Engraver Sébastien Bourdon (1616 – 1671); and painter of portraits.

Aegros Curare (To Cure The Sick) is from the series the Seven Acts of Mercy, which are a set of compassionate acts concerning the material needs of others in the Catholic tradition.

In this engraving that is set away from the city that can be viewed in the background are several groups of people, comprised of both men and women trying to help the sick and the dying; with some people already having met their end.

At the very top is an angel looking down on a king that is sobbing and praying while below him is an man laying on the with his upper back and neck resting on stone blocks that appears to be dead with what might be his daughter laying by his body, who also seems to be dead while her baby is screaming in anguish as a women tries to pull the baby away from the corpses.

Above and to the right of the dead man is another woman carrying a child on her back, pulling her oldest child away from the dead man; while beside her is a young woman passing medicine to two men, who may be doctors that are trying to save the life of another woman that is dying as her grieving family tries to help her the best they can.

Below the dead man in a tunnel is a child sucking on the breast of his dead mother that is lying by the body of another dead person whose face has been covered.

In the background on the left is a soldier with an old man and some other people a short distance from them; and on the right is another person that we can see carrying a body to be buried.

From the way the scene looks it a good guess that it is depicting some sort of plaque that has struck the city and this where the sick are taken to die; while some try to help them at their own peril.

This is a remastered digital art old masters reproduction of a public domain image that is available as a canvas print online.

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