(b. 1607, Leiden, d. 1674, Amsterdam)

The Four Elements and Ages of Man: Fire and Childhood

c. 1668
Oil on oak, 83 x 58 cm
Staatliche Museen, Kassel

This painting is part of a series of four representing the personification of the four elements and the four ages of man. The first painting of the series combines fire with childhood. A boy, cheeks puffed, is blowing on an ember so as to light a torch. The ember in the tongs and the young flame on the wick represent the only source of light.

Suggested listening (streaming mp3, 18 minutes):
George Frideric Handel: Fireworks Music