European Painting before 1900, Johnson Collection
Man at a DeskMade in Dordrecht, Netherlands, Europe
Abraham van Strij, Dutch (active Dordrecht), 1753 - 1826
Oil on panel
Cat. 711John G. Johnson Collection, 1917
LabelIn the Netherlands, reading was a practical necessity for members of the merchant class and their wealthy heirs. The money bags lying on the floor outside the open lockbox suggest that this man may be a merchant or a banker. The large format and wide spaces between lines of text in the book he is reading indicate that he is occupied with a ledger. The grand, upright volume with elaborate clasps on the table behind him is likely his Bible. The framed picture above the Bible reproduces a painting by seventeenth-century artist Aelbert Cuyp who, like Van Strij, was from Dordrecht.
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