The medical profession was gradually shedding its former, mixed reputation and gathering prestige. Alongside other professions, civil engineering, for example, or painting, it was consolidating its claim to be a profession in its own right, with its own traditions, high standards, and contributions to make to human progress, rather than a trade with mere guild status. A portrait of 1783 by Jacques-Louis David, for example, brimming with gravity and confidence on the parts both of painter and sitter, shows the gynaecologist Alphonse Leroy as an intellectual, a philosophe, whose credentials are founded in a marriage of past and present; he leans on a volume of Hippocrates, and is lit by the latest “Quinquet” device, a lamp of unprecedented brightness patented in France in 1780 (the painting is in the Musée Fabre, Montpellier).