A Boy Blowing on a Firebrand to Light a Charcoal by Godfried Schalken

This painting is a striking example of the candlelit genre scenes for which Godfried Schalken was most famous.


Oil on canvas
75 x 64 cm
Art Fund grant:
£15,000 ( Total: £67,000)
Acquired in:
Johnny Van Haeften

The work recreates the subject of a classical painting, by Antiphilos of Alexandria, described in Pliny's Natural History. Northern painters quickly adopted this motif and the subject of a boy with an ember is found in the work of a long line of Dutch painters such as Gerrit van Honthorst, Hendrick Ter Brugghen, Jan Lievens and Matthijs Stom.


Robert Spencer, 2nd Earl of Sunderland; Charles, 3rd Earl of Sundrland; The Hon. John Spencer; John, 1st arl Spencer; By descent.

Venue details

Scottish National Gallery The Mound, EDINBURGH Edinburgh EH2 2EL 0131 624 6200 www.nationalgalleries.org

Entry details

50% off with National Art Pass

Daily, 10am –​ 5pm (until 7pm Thur) Extended opening until 6pm during August