This is the first of a series of pictures Pryde entitled ‘The Human Comedy’. Each painting is dominated by a four-poster bed, based on Pryde’s childhood memory of the magnificent bed in Mary Queen of Scots’ bedroom at Holyrood Palace. The artist remarked: ‘a bed is an important idea. Look what happens on it and how much of our lives we spend on it’. The dramatic shadows and macabre aura of expectancy in The Doctor function like a scene in a play; indeed, Pryde was a set and poster designer in the theatre.