A bearded man reading a book is standing in a great vaulted interior. A large window illuminates the room with warm daylight, reflecting against the glassware sparsely placed on upper shelves. At right, a long-necked alembic distills into a receiver placed in a water bath on the floor. The atmosphere is peaceful and meditative, evoking the contemplation of a monk in retreat or a scholar engaged in deep study. This 19th-century image was created well after the establishment of chemistry as a university discipline, yet it looks back to an earlier era of experiment and discovery.