DOU, Gerrit
(b. 1613, Leiden, d. 1675, Leiden)

The Night School

c. 1660
Oil on panel, 74 x 64 cm
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Dou can be credited with starting a hardy vogue around the middle of the century for small pictures of nocturnal scenes lit by candlelight or lanterns, which usually throw a harsh red light. In this group the incident depicted - children at school, card players, a group around a table - is usually more important than the dramatic potential of the chiaroscuro.