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A room with hallucinatory beings and weird furnishings. Watercolour by Auguste Laurent, 1844.

  • Laurent, Auguste, 1807-1853.
Date
1844
Reference
585899i
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view A room with hallucinatory beings and weird furnishings. Watercolour by Auguste Laurent, 1844.

Licence

Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
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Credit: A room with hallucinatory beings and weird furnishings. Watercolour by Auguste Laurent, 1844. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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About this work

Description

A workroom on the ground floor of an old house, with massive beams supporting the high wooden ceiling, a stone floor, and a large open fireplace: a similar room is shown in a painting of an alchemist's laboratory by E. Lomont, 1890 (Wellcome Library catalogue no. 45145i). The furnishings of the room (pans, mortar and pestle etc.) have human faces, and the figures have animal features. Left, a man dines on a frog, and another man (a portrait?) enters the room. Above the fireplace, a witch riding on a broomstick paired with another figure riding on an umbrella. Possibly a satire on a fellow-chemist (Dumas?), or a jeu d'esprit representing what outsiders imagined went on in the chemist's laboratory

Publication/Creation

1844.

Physical description

1 painting : watercolour ; sheet 17 x 21.2 cm

Creator/production credits

Attribution to Laurent from inscription on back of old mount. Laurent was "a central figure in the emergence of organic chemistry as a mature science". In person he was "readily provoked into a quarrel over real or imagined insults" and "impatient and suspicious of authority" (Dictionary of scientific biography)

Lettering note

Lettering on back of mount (discarded as acidic, 1992): Aquarelle peinte par Laurent, le célèbre chimiste, l'un des fondateurs de la théorie atomique". Accompanied by frame-maker's printed label (H. Petit-Jean, 123 Boulevard du Montparnasse, Paris) inscribed in ink "appartient à M. Jean Friedl, don de M. Laurent"

Reference

Wellcome Library no. 585899i

Type/Technique

Languages

  • French


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