The painting Paralytic was painted in the best traditions of the Enlightenment. It perfectly combines the artist’s talent, dynamism of the image and didactic plot. The painting by Jean-Baptiste Dreams is touching and eloquent at the same time. On it, he captured a friendly family taking care of a paralysis-affected older relative. Facial expressions are directed to a sick old man. Their poses are inherent in some theatricality. But it is precisely this technique that allows you to convey bright feelings towards an older family member.
In the eyes of those present, sympathy and tenderness are read. Each of the characters depicted in the picture tries to be useful to paralysis. Women read to him and listen with attention to what he tells them. One boy straightens a pillow under the back of an old man. The second brings him a cup. Another covers his legs with a plaid. A very tiny kid wants to show the old man his toy. A man feeds a patient with a spoon. It is characteristic that not a woman brings a plate of food to the old man. This gesture, unusual for a man, indicates how much the hero loves a relative.
In the right corner of the picture you can see a lactating dog, which her puppies cling to. Even she shows interest in the afflicted and becomes a symbol of kindness and fidelity.
The decoration of the room and the vestments of the heroes of the picture suggest that they live modestly. But material poverty is more than compensated by spiritual wealth. This family is a single whole, and all its members as one honor the elder and do not leave him even with an incurable disease. This is the didactic meaning of the work. Jean-Baptiste Dreams attached great importance to morality. Respect for elders was the message that the artist sought to convey to his contemporaries and future generations.