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Man at a Desk

Abraham van Strij, Dutch (active Dordrecht), 1753 - 1826

Made in Dordrecht, Netherlands, Europe

c. 1800

Oil on panel

25 5/16 x 21 1/4 inches (64.3 x 54 cm)

Curatorial Department:
European Painting

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:
Cat. 711

Credit Line:
John G. Johnson Collection, 1917

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In 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.