Dutch genre scenes, such as this image by Pieter Quast, served
in part as a Protestant react
ion against the prevalent imagery of angels and saints in seventeenth-century art. By depicting contemporary scenes, Dutch artists explored new
subject matter and defied
classical images. Quast’s depiction of a charlatan and his victim is an example of the satire
these genre works often achieved. With knives hanging from his belt, the quack dabs ineffectually at the streams of blood while the suffering peasant looks toward the viewer. The faces and postures of the figures approach caricature, defying more traditional representations
of holy figures.