Man at a Desk

Abraham van Strij, Dutch (active Dordrecht), 1753 - 1826

Made in Dordrecht, Netherlands, Europe

c. 1800

Oil on panel

25 5/16 x 21 1/4 inches (64.3 x 54 cm)

Curatorial Department:
European Painting

* Gallery 273, European Art 1500-1850, second floor

Accession Number:
Cat. 711

Credit Line:
John G. Johnson Collection, 1917

Social Tags [?]

book [x]   erudition [x]   genre [x]   influence of vermeer [x]   merchant [x]   reading [x]   realism [x]  

[Add Your Own Tags]

In the Netherlands, reading was a practical necessity for members of the merchant class and their wealthy heirs. The money bags lying on the floor outside the open lockbox suggest that this man may be a merchant or a banker. The large format and wide spaces between lines of text in the book he is reading indicate that he is occupied with a ledger. The grand, upright volume with elaborate clasps on the table behind him is likely his Bible. The framed picture above the Bible reproduces a painting by seventeenth-century artist Aelbert Cuyp who, like Van Strij, was from Dordrecht.

* Works in the collection are moved off view for many different reasons. Although gallery locations on the website are updated regularly, there is no guarantee that this object will be on display on the day of your visit.