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A man stoops over a fireplace, using bellows to stoke the fire that heats the contents of a pot standing in the flames. He is an alchemist in the process of trying to turn base metals into silver or gold. His shabby and chaotic surroundings suggest that he is so obsessed with his work that he has neglected his other responsibilities, as well as squandering his possessions away. The loose, sketchy brushstrokes the artist has used to depict some of the items strewn on the floor, such as the dirty rags and straw, emphasise the disorder of the room.
Oil on oak
H 34 x W 45.2 cm