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

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.

Scottish National Gallery

The Mound, Edinburgh, Midlothian, EH2 2EL
0131 624 6200

Opening times

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

Exhibitions at Scottish National Gallery

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