"The Alchemist, Flemish School Of The 17th Century, Workshop Of Thomas Wyck (harleem 1616-1677)"Thomas Wyck (Bewerwyck 1616- Haarlem 1677), workshop
The alchemist in his laboratory
Flemish school of the second half of the 17th century
Oil on canvas,
48 x 65 cm (18.8 x 25.5 in)
framed 58 x 75 cm (22.8 x 29.5 in)
Full details onhttps://www.antichitacastelbarco.it/it/prodotto/thomas-wyck--haarlem-1616-1677-l-alchimista
This painting, full of charm, opens the doors to the shop of an alchemist and his hard-working helpers and expresses all the magnetism that has always surrounded the universe of this particular scholar.
This theme, extremely fashionable in genre painting in the seventeenth century, led many painters, especially Flemish, to dedicate scenes of great complexity and richness, such as the one we are pleased to offer you.
Names such as David Teniers, Adriaen van Ostad, Gerard Thomas, Cornelis Pietersz Bega, Balthasar Van Den Bossche, have returned to this topic several times. Our painting, in particular, can be traced back to the workshop of Thomas Wijck (Bewerwyck 1616 - Haarlem 1677), another famous proponent of Dutch painting of the Golden Age. Wijck boasts in his repertoire a variegated iconographic gallery dedicated to the world of alchemy, with a style strongly influenced by his stay in Italy, in Rome, in close contact with the Bamboccianti.
Born in a clandestine manner in the Middle Ages, alchemy became a particularly followed discipline from the Renaissance, as man, subjected for centuries to the force of nature, began to desire to dominate it. The objective of this discipline was to transmute the base metals into gold, thus symbolizing the attempt to reach perfection and overcome the unknown boundaries of existence.
Let us now go into the detail of our fascinating painting, capable of lowering the viewer into that atmosphere, mysterious and full of charm, that would have been breathed in the laboratory of a seventeenth-century alchemist.
Our alchemist is portrayed as a bearded man, immersed in the reading of several volumes, with thick glasses, a triangle hat and a fur-lined jacket, clothes that scholars, jurists, and scientists used to wear. His collaborators complete the scene, most likely also members of his family, like the woman with her little son by her side. They are all busy at work, immersed in a chaotic context, saturated with ampoules, vials, stills, bottles, distillers and other tools arranged in a disorderly manner in the room. A couple of assistants, in the foreground, activates a bellows to revive the coals contained in a cauldron, while two others are busy melting metals, waiting for the transformation process to begin.
The belief of the alchemists that ordinary metals could have been transformed into gold was often used in painting and seventeenth-century literature to illustrate human folly. For example, the master Pieter Bruegel the Elder, in many of his famous masterpieces, dwells on the figure of the alchemists, whose obsessive search for gold had often reduced their misery families. Our work presents the figure of the scholar and his environment precisely with this meaning, portraying him as a stubborn deluded, who engages in various experiments without ever achieving the desired result.
The canvas is in excellent storage conditions.
Warranty certificate and authenticity according to law.
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