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Still Life with a Boy Blowing Soap-bubbles

Gerrit Douc. 1635-36

The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo

The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo

The soap-bubbles, skull, hourglass, feathered cap and gourd and other still-life elements shown in this work indicate that its subject is vanitas, the emptiness and ephemeral quality of man's existence. This work differs slightly from standard vanitas images as the boy blowing soap-bubbles has been fitted with the wings of angel. This motif indicates the layering of a religious theme over the standard vanitas imagery. Thought to have been painted relatively early in Dou's painting career, during the years 1635-36, the work clearly exhibits the compositional forms of his earlier interior scenes. The realistic depiction of still-life elements floating against the dark reaches of an interior setting is typical of Dou's work. (Source: Masterpieces of the National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 2009, cat. no. 33)

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Details

  • Title: Still Life with a Boy Blowing Soap-bubbles
  • Date Created: c. 1635-36
  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings: Signed (G and D in monogram) lower right on edge of table: G DOV
  • Provenance: Countess A. Sparre, Stockholm (probably acquired in France in the 18th centry); On loan to Mauritshuis, The Hague, before 1935; G. A. Hagemann, Bjersjöholm, Sweden; His daughter, Fru Anne-Lise Lembke; David Carritt Ltd., London.
  • Physical Dimensions: w397 x h480 mm
  • Painter: Gerard Dou
  • Object title (Japanese): シャボン玉を吹く少年と静物
  • Object notes (Japanese): 画面に描かれたシャボン玉、髑髏、砂時計、羽飾り付きの帽子、瓢箪などから、本作品はいわゆる「ヴァニタス」画、すなわち、静物の描写を通して人生の虚しさや儚さ、あるいは移ろいやすさを表現するものであることが知られる。ただし、通常の「ヴァニタス」画とはやや異なって、シャボン玉を吹く少年は翼を具えた天使として描かれており、ここには何らかの宗教的意味合いも重ねられているように思われる。ダウの画歴の比較的初期、1635/36年頃制作されたものと考えられるが、様式的には既に彼の室内画の特徴がはっきりと現われている。迫真の材質感をもって暗い室内に浮かび上がる静物の描写は、彼ならではのものである。 (出典: 国立西洋美術館名作選. 東京, 国立西洋美術館, 2006. cat. no. 33)
  • Artist Name (Japanese): ダウ、ヘーラルト
  • Type: Paintings
  • Rights: http://www.nmwa.go.jp/en/information/privacy.html
  • External Link: The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo
  • Medium: Oil on panel

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