Alchemist at work (with book resting on skull)
- After 1620 – before 1690
A studious, bearded alchemist in a red cap studies a book intently, one hand tracing the lines of text. Beside him, a brick furnace sits topped with glassware. A skull and hourglass rest on his table, reminding the viewer of life's brevity and time's swift passing. The alchemist's study is lined with bookshelves. Like the other paintings on metal in the collection, this one was probably created in the 19th century and was made by transferring a lithograph print onto a metal plate and then painting over top of the printed image in oils. These inexpensive copies were popular souvenirs at European tourist destinations.
(sale, Christie's South Kensington, 28 October, 1993, lot 219, one of a pair.)
|Rights||Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License|
Alchemist at Work (with Book Resting on Skull). Oil paint (paint), metal, n.d. Science History Institute. Philadelphia. https://digital.sciencehistory.org/works/p5547s59r.
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