34.2 cm x 39 cm (13 7/16 in. x 15 3/8 in.)
(London, 1757 - 1815, London)
Medium and Support:
Etching and aquatint with hand coloring
Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, The Karen G. and Dr. Elgin W. Ware, Jr. Collection, 2002
Quack doctors and their desperate patients were especially vulnerable targets for satirists of the early nineteenth century. In this print, Dr. Elisha Perkins demonstrates his latest cure-all, a pair of brass and iron rods forged by the doctor in his own furnace that, when stroked over an unhealthy area, draws out affliction. Headlines from the newspaper on the table include the secret of the philosopher’s stone and how to turn all metals into gold, followed by Gillray’s mantra: pro bono publico (“for the public good”).