Artist: Gerrit Dou (Dutch, Leiden 1613–1675 Leiden)
Date: ca. 1655–57
Medium: Oil on wood
Dimensions: Arched top, 10 x 9 in. (25.4 x 22.9 cm)
Credit Line: Bequest of Lillian M. Ellis, 1940
Accession Number: 40.64
This small night scene extols the virtues of teaching (light passed on) and practice (the sharpened pen), which the much admired Aristotle recommended as paths to knowledge. The subject would have appealed to many in Dou’s city of Leiden, home of a famous university.