This scene depicts tools and materials used both in alchemy and in art—most notably the large écorché figure placed on the alchemist's table, which was used by artists and students of human anatomy. A human skull, books, candles, a globe, and glassware rest alongside it. The alchemist himself studies a flask held in his left hand, likely performing a uroscopy, as his young assistant tends a distillation apparatus over a fire in a small furnace at left. To the rear of the chamber, other assistants gather near a larger furnace. Tongs, an anvil, and other tools suggest they are working with metals.
[possibly Willem Gruyter, Amsterdam (sale, Philippus Schley, Amsterdam, 8 August 1804, lot 82; sale, Philippus Schley, Amsterdam, 23 August 1808, lot 76)]. 
Private Collection, Vermont, before 1967 and probably prior to 20th cent. (to Koetser). 
[David M. Koetser Galleries, New York, after 1923 and prior to 1965 (to Fisher)].
Fisher Scientific, Pittsburgh, PA; Fisher Scientific International Inc., Hampton, NH, acquired by Chester Fisher, prior to 1965 until 2000.
The Chemical Heritage Foundation, 2000 (from Fisher Scientific International Inc.).Show notes
 This auction lists lot 82 as a painting by Juncker with a very similar description to the present painting.
 An internal note from Chester Fisher described the painting as having been "located by Koetser Galleries in the Vermont home of a U.S.A. Naval Commander, in whose family it had been for several generations." David M. Koetser opened Koetser Galleries in New York shortly after 1923. The New York gallery in closed in 1967, when David M. Koetser moved to Zurich. The painting must have been sold to Chester Fisher before his death in 1965.
|Rights||Public Domain Mark 1.0|