The Alchemist

David Teniers (1610-1690), The Alchemist, c. 1670, engraved by Jean-François Basan (1723-1797) about a century later [annotated D. Teniers Pinx. lower left; F Basan Sculp. lower right in the plate]. In very good condition, creases at corners upper and lower left, with small margins all around, 12 1/2 x 8 7/8, the sheet 13 1/8 x 9 1/4 inches.

A very good impression, printed on a laid paper with an 18th C.  Dupuy watermark.

The books on the floor, the crucible for melting and refining metals, the glassware and other implements, and the scull are recurrent themes in portraits of alchemists in the 1600’s;  in addition various animals and birds are flying in the air above our alchemist, and other figures surround him.  Teniers made many paintings of alchemists, and apparently often portrayed himself as the alchemist at work.

Jean-François Basan (1723-1797) was a renowned engraver and print publisher.