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A Hermit

Photo credit: The Wallace Collection

How you can use this image

All rights reserved.

This image can be used for non-commercial research or private study purposes, and other exceptions to copyright permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

For all other types of use please visit the owning collection’s website for more information about permitted uses and licensing.


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A hermit in monkish garb in a vaulted interior sits surrounded by Vanitas symbols, reminders of the transience of worldly possessions and the inevitability of death. A skull acts as a memento mori, while the hourglass and candle recall the brevity and fragility of human life. In contrast, the hermit seeks spiritual solace in the everlasting truths of the Bible open before him. The picture’s meticulous finish is typical of Dou’s mature style which inspired the formation of the school of Leiden fijnschilders (‘fine painters’) who continued to paint in a similarly polished manner well into the eighteenth century.
  • Date


  • Medium

    oil on oak panel

  • Measurements

    32.1 x 23.7 cm

  • Accession number


  • Acquisition method

    acquired by Richard Seymour-Conway, 4th Marquess of Hertford, 1843; bequeathed to the nation by Lady Wallace, 1897


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The Wallace Collection

Hertford House Manchester Square, London, Greater London W1U 3BN England

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