An Old Woman Bleeding a Young Woman, known as 'The Bloodletting'
Quiringh van Brekelenkam
Brekelenkam specialised in the subject of ordinary people going about their daily business. Here, he painted an elderly woman bleeding a younger woman. She is using heated pottery cups, which is why she is called a ‘cupper’. Bleeding was supposed to help prevent miscarriages – so the young woman may be pregnant.
oil on panel
47.9 x 36.7 cm.
Bequest A. Bredius, The Hague, 1946