"The Scholar"

Catalog Number: ORGCVR01

Additional Information

This painting originally resided in Alfred Bader's Fine Arts Collection. Artists often took works of older artists and used them in their own compositions. David Teniers, for instance, copied scores of earlier Italian works in much smaller formats. So it is here. Jacob Toorenvliet (1635-1729), one of the Leiden "Fijnschilders" ("Fine Painters") took an earlier composition by one of Leiden's most famous painters, Gerrit Dou (1613-1675) and changed Dou's horizontal composition (19-3/4" x 23-1/4") into this vertical one (20" x 17"). Dou was one of Rembrandt's first students in Leiden, and the model used for this scholar smoking was thought to be Rembrandt's father. Scholars contemplated across a Renaissance Spectrum from philsophy to the "life" sciences as well as to the physical sciences. It is quite possible that our scholar was considering chemical or rather alchemical transformations.