This is the domain of an alchemist; a scientist who is trying to make gold. He is stirring something in a bowl, while holding a reference book. The space is filled with strange kettles, stoves and glassware. The alchemist was a popular theme in Flemish painting of the sixteenth and seventeenth century. He symbolises the man who squanders his money on futile, trivial matters and is therefore reduced to beggary.