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Homer Dictating to Scribes

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The influence of Rembrandt, de Gelder's teacher, is apparent in the artist's expressionistic handling of paint and interest in the depiction of age and knowledge. However, de Gelder has expanded Rembrandt's color palette and given additional emphasis to the specific gestures and poses of his...

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Pieter Steijn, The Hague [see note 1]; by inheritance to his widow, Cornelia Schellinger Steijn, The Hague; October 7, 1783, Steijn sale, Rietmulder, The Hague, lot 65, sold for 21.5 fl. May 23, 1798, anonymous sale, Amsterdam, lot 67, to Berkenbosch for 26 fl. Maréchal Nicolas Jean de Dieu Soult (b. 1769 - d. 1851), duc de Dalmatie, Paris; May 17, 1852, posthumous Soult sale, Galerie Lebrun, Paris, lot 150, to Bonnefons for 85 fr. [see note 2]. Beaumont family, Paris [see note 3]; sold by Comte Beaumont to Arnold Seligmann, Rey and Co., Inc., New York; 1939, sold by Seligmann to the MFA for $6500. (Accession Date: January 12, 1939) NOTES: [1] For information on the eighteenth-century sales, see Karl Lilienfeld, Arent de Gelder: sein Leben und seine Kunst (The Hague, 1914), pp. 188-189, nos. 147-148 and Peter C. Sutton, catalogue entry in Rembrandt: A Genius and His Impact, by Albert Blankert (exh. cat. National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 1997), p. 318, cat. no. 71. [2] The painting may have been bought in by the auctioneer, Bonnefons de Lavialle. It was attributed in the catalogue to the school of Rembrandt, entitled "Maître d'école." [3] According to correspondence from Paul M. Byk of Seligmann, Rey and Co. to the MFA (December 22, 1938), the painting had belonged to the Beaumont family "for at least two generations."

Credit Line

Ernest Wadsworth Longfellow Fund


101.0 x 127.6 cm (39 3/4 x 50 1/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Oil on canvas