The Doctor


Matt Nettles
by Sir Luke Fildes
published on 28 March 2023
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The Doctor, oil on canvas painting by Sir Luke Fildes (1843-1927), English Neo-Venetian artist, 1891.

The painting shows a Victorian doctor watching over a sick child in a fisherman’s cottage while dawn breaks through the window. On one hand, Fildes was inspired by tragedy, losing his one-year-old son, Philip, to typhoid fever in 1877. On the other hand, he was inspired by the compassion of Dr. Murray who attended his dying child. As a "social realist", Fildes used his own family members as models for some of the characters and built a replica of a cottage he had sketched in his studio. Many commentators have argued that he intentionally omitted any contemporary medical equipment or intervention to emphasize the emotional bond between the doctor and the patient.

Library of Congress, Washington D.C.

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Cite This Work

APA Style

Fildes, S. L. (2023, March 28). The Doctor. World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from

Chicago Style

Fildes, Sir Luke. "The Doctor." World History Encyclopedia. Last modified March 28, 2023.

MLA Style

Fildes, Sir Luke. "The Doctor." World History Encyclopedia. World History Encyclopedia, 28 Mar 2023. Web. 13 Apr 2024.