Leiden c. 1643 – after 1682 possibly Stockholm
A Fisherman Smoking in a Stone Window
Oil on panel (oak) 26.4 x 19.7 cm
Illegible inscription on the reverse
Private collection, Netherlands
An elderly fisherman leans out of an oval stone window, his net firmly clasped under his arm. An afternoon sky is visible beyond. The fisherman enjoys a well-deserved smoke after a day of toiling.
Although a catalogue of Bartholomeus Maton's extant oeuvre is still forthcoming it is certain that his works are relatively rare. In many of his works, invariably executed on small oak wood panels, the influence of his illustrious teacher Gerrit Dou is easily recognizable. A typical feature introduced by Dou and then taken over by a host of his pupils and followers, including Maton, is framing a scene in a stone arched niche. Maton uses this device for instance in his fine astronomer in the Hermitage in Saint Petersburg. In numerous other works, however, Maton placed his figures in an oval shaped niche, as is the case in the present painting. He clearly was the inventor and no other master is know to have used this oval window.