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Godfried Schalcken: 'An Old Woman scouring a Pot'

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The old woman, the broken pot, the butterfly and the empty candle-holder are all elements which, taken together, identify the painting as a 'vanitas', an allegory of the transience of life.

This is an early work in the style of Schalcken's teacher, Gerrit Dou. It is reminiscent of Dou's 'niche paintings' - an interior seen through an aperture.

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