The Old Alchemist

David Teniers (1610-1690), The Old Alchemist, c. 1670, engraved by Jean-François Basan (1723-1797) about a century later, with the initials of Tenier lower left and the initials of Basan lower right. In good condition, trimmed outside of the platemark all around, printed on old laid paper and affixed to another old laid sheet at the tips of the left corners, 12 7/8 x 9 3/8 inches.

A good impression.

The book, 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; 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.