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Man with pipe and book (self-Portrait)

Painting, 1650-th , 48×37 cm

Description of the artwork «Man with pipe and book (self-Portrait)»

This picture DOE in various sources is alternative names – "Man with pipe and book" (National gallery of art in Washington) or "A man Smoking a pipe" (Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam). And although none of them officially there is no indication that the artist depicted himself, the description on the website of the Rijksmuseum, which displays the panel that contains the words Zelfportret van Gerard Dou (self portrait of Gerard Dou).

"Man with pipe" – a rare example of tromple or "optical illusion" (FR. trompe-l'œil"illusion") in the work of the painter. Traditionally artists used trompe l'oeil, "sticking" to the image twisted label (cartellino), on which he placed his signature. Here a deceptive effect creates a curtain, which in the Netherlands in the XVII century to protect paintings from light and dust. He moved to the right, and shows the viewer the image of a man Smoking by the window. An important role plays in the illusion of the refined technique of Dou, who made almost tangible subtly shaded fabric, rings and cornice. The man, whose shadow falls on the stone window seem real, like the book, lying across the sill. But their "reality" is contrary to the thin black frame surrounding the image.

Most illusory panels Dou small in size, and the viewer does not doubt that he sees the snag. Here, the optical effect creates a feeling of reality as "picture in picture" – the object of this work can be of any size.

One of the most popular descriptions of trombley found in the "Natural history" of the Roman author Pliny the Elder. He talks about the competition between the two painters – Greeks Sexism and Parisien. First wrote such realistic grapes that birds tried to peck them. In response to the second proposed opponent to raise the curtain concealing his painting. It turned out that the fabric was painted. "Sikis deceived birds, and Parisi cheated Sevcik"– said the loser, acknowledging his defeat.

It is possible that the curtain in the foreground of the picture DOE – skilled and deliberate allusion to the story. Contemporary artist, poet Dirk Traidenis, called it "Dutch Parasivam". It was high praise for a painter in those days, as experts and ordinary people had a high opinion of the ability of the artist how to create the appearance of reality and to entertain the viewer.

Thematically, this portrait close to the picture "Man with pipe" from the National gallery in London. Although in the seventeenth century Smoking was mostly hinted at sensual pleasures, it has more to do with contemplation.

Author: Vlad Maslov
from 1450 rub
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About the artwork

Art form: Painting

Subject and objects: Portrait

Style of art: Baroque, The Golden age of Holland

Technique: Oil

Materials: Wood

Date of creation: 1650-th

Size: 48×37 cm

Artwork in selections: 9 selections

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