Dr. Péan Operating

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

French, 1864–1901

Dr. Péan Operating

c. 1891–92

“If I weren’t a painter, I would like to be a doctor,” Toulouse-Lautrec once said. The artist regularly attended surgeries performed in public by the distinguished Dr. Jules-Émile Péan. In this painting, Péan is shown with a look of intense concentration as he inserts forceps into a patient’s gaping mouth, held open by an assistant. The close-up viewpoint and sketchy brushwork convey the urgency and immediacy of a surgical procedure in progress.

Medium Oil on laminate cardboard
Dimensions 29 1/8 x 19 5/8 in. (73.9 x 49.9 cm) Frame: 35 1/2 x 25 1/4 x 3 in. (90.2 x 64.1 x 7.6 cm)
Object Number 1955.567
Acquisition Acquired by Sterling and Francine Clark, 1938
Status Off View

Image Caption

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Dr. Péan Operating, c. 1891–92, Oil on laminate cardboard. The Clark Art Institute, 1955.567.


Lees, Sarah, ed. Nineteenth-Century European Paintings at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Williamstown, MA: Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute; New Haven and London: distributed by Yale University Press, 2012.