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Attributed to Granet, François-Marius (French draftsman, 1775-1849) , An Alchemist Applying Bellows to a Furnace

Core Record

Title An Alchemist Applying Bellows to a Furnace
Collection Wellcome Library
Artist Attributed to Granet, François-Marius (French draftsman, 1775-1849)
Attributed to manner of Ostade, Adriaen van (Dutch draftsman and painter, 1610-1685)
Date Earliest 1817
Date Latest 1900
Description An alchemist is shown sitting in an interior using bellows on a fire. Paintings on alchemical themes were popular in seventeenth-century Flemish and Dutch art. It is not known who initiated this interest but both Teniers and Ryckaert took up the theme in earnest around 1648. The alchemist theme is sometimes used as an illustration of human folly involving futile searches. This work is signed with the name of the French artist François-Marius Granet and is dated but its authenticity is doubted.
Current Accession Number 45119i
Inscription front lr 'GRANET/ 1817'
Subject figure; interior; everyday life; still life
Measurements 35.5 x 27 cm (estimate)
Material oil on canvas
Acquisition Details Bequeathed by Henry Solomon Wellcome 1936.
Provenance Collection of George James Welbore Agar Ellis, 1st Baron Dover (1797-1833) (;); collection of the Duke of Sutherland by 11 July 1913; sale, Christie, Manson & Woods, London, 11 July 1913, nn (;); collection of Henry Solomon Wellcome about 1913 (;).
Notes 'Mr Agar Ellis' is written on the back in ink. There is a label on the frame at the front with the number 187 on it indicating the number in his collection. There is a Christie's stencil number 950 CD. Christie's reported that nothing matched this reference number which was a consignment of paintings from the Duke of Sutherland. Two paintings were returned and not put in auction and so these might have included one this painting. The painting could not be found in the auction catalogue dated 11 July 1913. The National Gallery suggest that this is more like the work of Ostade. The dossier at the Wellcome Library records that John Ingamells of the Wallace Collection said that there were known copies of this artist's work and that he painted several versions of a popular work.
Rights Owner (c) The Wellcome Trust
Author Dr Madeleine Korn



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