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Painting Title Boy Blowing on a Firebrand
Alternative Title Woman with a Candle Blowing out a Torch; Woman Blowing a Candle; A Boy Blowing his Torch to Light a Candle
Collection York Art Gallery
Artist After Schalcken, Godfried (Dutch painter, 1643-1706)
Date Earliest about 1692
Date Latest possibly about 1770
Description A young boy is blowing on a lit firebrand, holding a candle in a candlestick in his other hand. It is a copy after the painting by Schalcken in the National Gallery of Scotland (originally commissioned by Robert Spencer, 2nd Earl of Sunderland and at Althorp until 1988). Godfried Schalcken was a Dutch genre and portrait painter, famous for the depictions of people in candlelight, creating characteristically dramatic chiaroscuro effects. He worked in the studio of Gerard Dou, and after 1691 he settled in The Hague. He visited England in 1692-97.
Current Accession Number YORAG : 152
Subject figure
Measurements 27.9 x 24.1 cm
Material oil on panel
Acquisition Details Bequeathed by W.J. Rawdon 1895.
Principal Exhibitions Yorkshire Fine Art and Industrial Institution, Summer Exhibition, York, 1896, no. 131 as 'Woman Blowing a Candle' by 'Schalkin'.
Publications York Art Gallery Catalogue - Catalogue of Paintings, Vol. III: English and European 19th and 20th centuries, The Reserve Collection, City of York Art Gallery, York, 1974, p. 117 as 'Woman with a Candle Blowing out a Torch', 17th century; Oil Paintings in Public Ownership. North Yorkshire, London, 2006, p. 330 as after Schlacken.
Notes Thierry Behermann wrote in the Schalcken catalogue raisonné (Godfried Schalcken, Paris, 1988) that the Althorp picture (today in the National Gallery of Scotland) might be a copy of a lost original. There were probably other versions, as paintings by Schalcken entitled A Boy Blowing a Torch, Boy Blowing Charcoal, A boy blowing a lighted brand or even A young Woman blowing a burning piece of Wood to light a Candle which she holds appeared on the art market in London at least 12 times between 1790 and 1840. Also prints after that painting were published in London: by John Faber II (1751), Richard Purcell (after 1749) and James Wilson (1760s). Another version, of a slightly different composition (with a woman standing behind the boy), signed 'G. Schalcken' (upper left) was sold at Christie's in Amsterdam 16th November 2006, lot 70.
Rights Owner York Museums Trust (York Art Gallery)
Author Dr Magdalena Łanuszka



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