The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Girl threading a Needle by Candlelight
  • Godfried Schalcken (1643 - 1706)
  • Girl threading a Needle by Candlelight
  • Netherlands
  • late 1670s
  • Painting
  • Oil on oak panel
  • Image size: 19.3 x 15.6 cm
    Frame size: 30.6 x 28.3 cm
  • Signature: 'G Schalcken'
  • P171
  • East Galleries I
Commentary
History
Further Reading
  • A typical candle-lit scene by Schalcken, demonstrating his exceptional qualities as a painter of nocturnal light. The subject and composition appear to have been inspired by Dou (q.v.), in particular by the Old Woman threading a Spool (Dresden, Gemäldegalerie). The youth and elegance of the girl, together with the closer view-point, suggest the influence of Frans van Mieris and Netscher (qq.v.), and the picture may accordingly be dated to the late 1670s. It belonged in the eighteenth century to the prince de Conti, among others, and was acquired speculatively by the 3rd Marquess of Hertford, who had it framed to match other works in his collection (cf. Berchem P183, Brouwer P211 and Metsu P206). He later attempted unsuccessfully to sell the picture at Christie’s in 1807.