Le Charlatan by Gérard Dou
Le Charlatan by Gérard Dou

Le Charlatan (The Charlatan )

Le Charlatan (The Charlatan ) c1652 by Dutch Painter Gérard Dou (1613 – 1675); of the Dutch Golden Age

This genre painting shows a charlatan among a group of people in a town of the mid 17th century, trying to sell them his elixirs or potions to cure there ills or grant their desires.

On the a pedestal table, le charlatan has a small metal chest that contains his potions with other potions resting on the table as well; and a small monkey that is sitting underneath a large parasol umbrella, that has a look on its face that indicates the man is a fraud.

In his right hand is a very small flask that he seems to be trying to sell to an elderly gentlemen who has just come from hunting with a rabbit cast over his back tied to a stick.

Beside and to right of the table is a couple, with the young lady offering him money for the potion; while in front of the table is another young lady with a covered tray that has bread underneath.

To the left of the table is a young boy with his right hand on the table, with his head turned to an elderly lady (maybe is grandmother), that has a skeptical look on her face and to the right of the old lady a young girl that seems to be with her.

At the front and slightly to the left is a mother with her young daughter to her right that is eating a cookie that her mother is cooking on a pan, while cleaning the bottom of her baby that has just followed the call of natures; while to the mothers left is a large open bowl filled with baking batter.

Behind and to the left of the gentlemen with the rabbit is a young boy sitting on the ground trying to feed a small bird with a stick, and to the boys right is another man, with a pipe in his mouth, wheeling a cart of vegetables of carrots, red cabbage, green cabbage, scallions and other herbs.

In the foreground on the left is a dead tree and a large ground plant, while to the right of the people is a building with a man leaning out of a large window, with what seems to be a large mirror in his right hand; and a large tree by its side.

In the background we can see another building and farther into the distance a stone bridge, more buildings and a windmill.

Le Charlatan is a remastered digital art old masters reproduction of a public domain image that is available as a canvas print online.

Info Below Derived From Wikipedia.org

Gérard was born in the South Holland municipality Leiden in 1613, where is father was a manufacturer of stained glass; and began studying drawing under Dutch Engraver Bartholomeus Dolendo (1570 – 1626), who was also a draftsman and goldsmith; after which he trained in the stained glass workshop of Pieter Couwenhorn (1599 – 1654).

When Gérard was 14 years of age, his father sent him to study painting in the studio of Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (1606 – 1669), who at the time was 22 years old and who lived a short distance from him.

He studied with Rembrandt for about three years, learning coloring and chiaroscuro (the strong contrast between light and dark); which was reflected in several of his early artistic creations.

He would soon develop is own distinctive style which diverged a great deal from that of Rembrandt, cultivating a minute and elaborate way of painting with very fine detail that would sometimes take days just to finish one part of the human anatomy.

He would also go on to teach, with some of his most noted students being Dutch Golden Age Painter Frans van Mieris the Elder (1635 – 1682), Dutch Golden Age Historical Painter Gabriël Metsu (1629 – 1667), Dutch Golden Age Painter Bartholomeus Maton (1641 – 1684), Dutch Painter and Printmaker Carel de Moor (1656 – 1738), Dutch Golden Age Painter Matthijs Naiveu (1647 – 1726), Dutch Golden Age Painter Abraham de Pape (1621 – 1666), Dutch Painter Godfried Schalcken (1643 – 1706), Dutch Golden Age Painter Pieter Cornelisz van Slingelandt (1640 – 1691), Dutch Golden Age Painter Domenicus van Tol (1635 – 1676), Dutch Golden Age Painter Gijsbert Andriesz Verbrugge (1637 – 1730), and Dutch Golden Age Painter Pieter Hermansz Verelst (1618 – 1678).

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