The Amsterdam Inventory

Abraham Jacobsz. after Jan Symonsz. Pynas, Alchemist, Detail, 1639-41, Etching, 250×205 mm, Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum

The inventory of Lady Arundel’s house in Amsterdam, drawn up in 1655, provides information about the furnishings of the building on the Singel, which was subsequently sold for a rather large sum. Continue reading “The Amsterdam Inventory”


Johann Dürr, Still (Portrait of Johann Michaelis, Detail), 1653, Print, 276 x 167 mm, Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum

Although Natura Exenterata contains instructions for distilling and preparing chemical remedies such as aurum potabile and antimony, Tart Hall’s 1641 inventory does not mention any stills. This is different in the inventory of Lady Arundel’s house in Amsterdam drawn up in 1654/55. Continue reading “Destillation”


Matthias Stom, Tobias and the Angel, 1630/32, Oil on Canvas, 111×125 cm, Den Haag, Museum Bredius

The only religious painting mentioned in the Pranketing Room is directly related to the medical practice of the Countess. Continue reading “Fisheye”

Processes of Conservation

Peter Binoit, Chicken Dinner, 1600-1625, Oil on Wood, 56,4 x 77,2 cm, Paris, Louvre

The still lifes and market scenes on the walls of the Pranketing Room gallery depict an idealized combination of foodstuff of a variety and freshness that practically unattainable in early modern reality. Enjoying such diversity was made possible only through the eyes mediated by the skill of a painter, or, ideally, through the amazing skills of a gentlewoman or housewife who, similar to the artist, was privy to the art of conservation. Continue reading “Processes of Conservation”

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